It was one of those regular afternoons, just me and the gym, shooting hoops. But this time, I couldn’t shake off the frustration from the last game. Coach Nickleberry strolled onto the court, chatting with me while snagging rebounds. “Nice moves, but what’s your plan when they shut you down? Ever thought about your angles?” His question threw me off—I mean, angles and basketball? That was new.
Initially, I blurted out some overly confident response, then retracted it with a laugh. I’d never pondered the connection between angles and the game until Coach brought it up. He introduced me to the concept of ‘angles of the court.’
He guided me to the right side of the court, the right wing, and asked, “What do you see?” My obvious answer: “the basket.” “Exactly. Our aim? To reach that basket in the smartest way possible,” he explained.
He opened my eyes to three different attacking angles, depending on the defense’s play, and emphasized countering their moves. Retreat, re-evaluate, and attack from another angle if needed.
“How do I know which angle to go for first?” I asked. “Trust your instincts, your first read. Learn from every decision because you won’t always nail it on the first try. Oh, and there are five spots on the court, each offering a different angle and its challenges.”
Back then, as a young woman finding her way, I didn’t realize that this lesson wasn’t just about basketball; it was about navigating life and learning from decisions.
Looking back now, I see moments where I made some wrong calls, had to take a step back, and reassess. Life doesn’t hand you instant results for every decision you make. So, to anyone reading this, be patient with yourself, and embrace the lessons from your mistakes—they’re the angles that shape your unique journey.