After watching Chris Goulding’s post training shooting regiment this week, it’s clear to see he is a player set on getting to a higher level.
I had the chance to see the Tigers go through a tough two-hour session only to see Goulding take a short break and then shoot for at least 30 minutes with assistant coach Darryl McDonald working through a series of three-point drills.
Those drills weren’t stationary shooting drills either, Goulding is putting a lot of emphasis on making several hard strides before he catches and shoots, a practice which seems timely considering the close defense he is receiving this season.
To see a player putting in the hours and trying to make himself great is, to me, inspiring.
Goulding wasn’t using his shooting drills as a warm-down or doing them half-speed.
He was sprinting hard into each shot and cursing or yelling when he missed – the intensity was up the whole time and this came on the back of a pretty tough scrimmage at the end of team practice.
It’s also worth noting Goulding, known to his teammates as Bubbles, was putting in the hours well before he received a call-up to play in the NBA summer league with Cleveland Cavaliers.
He was one of the first Tigers back in full training after being pulled into the Boomers squad to face China during the winter.
In all walks of life and in all professions, once you get to a competent level you can choose to take the foot off the pedal but still keep producing.
Goulding isn’t doing that despite being one of the better scorers in the NBL, he is clearly working to earn another shot at both the Boomers squad and either the NBA or Europe.
Adelaide coach Joey Wright was asked about both Goulding and Sixers centre Daniel Johnson following the Sixers’ loss to Melbourne in round three.
Wright, who coached Goulding when he was with Gold Coast Blaze, said there came a time when a player decided whether he wanted to be great or average.
He made it clear he thought Goulding was aspiring to be great.
“Offensively Goulding was always that good, he has been dynamic for a long time,” Wright said.
“What he has done now is being able to play defensively off the ball and be involved in the team scheme and score from what they do.”
Wright added that players like Johnson and Goulding had to add more tools to their natural scoring ability.
“His [Johnson’s] evolution is on the same path as Goulding,”Wright said.”
“You can take guys like this and they can be a scorer on a bad team and go through next 10 years and score a lot of points.
“Some guys are okay with that but some choose to be a basketball player, then you have to learn to rebound, play defence, talk, bump, dive on the floor and score.
“That is a whole different role to just scoring.”
It is still early days in the 2013/14 NBL season but so far it looks like Goulding is adding those traits to his game.