5 Training Habits That You Can Learn From Alex Morgan
Alex Morgan is one of our country's most deadliest goal-scorers, and has proven she can get it done at the very highest level of competition.
The former University of California standout has an incredible ability to convert chances, and left the school as their third-highest scorer in team history.
As she begins her journey to leading our nation towards another Olympic gold medal, let's take a look at some of the skills and training habits that make her one of the very best goal machines our nation has ever produced.
1. Brilliant Pace, Movement and Timing
Alex Morgan's speed on and off the ball is something that allows her to gain separation from her defenders, and offers a threat in behind the back four of opposing defenses.
But it's not just natural sprinting ability that makes Morgan such a tough mark, it's her willingness to work off the ball and find space in the channels that makes her a real nuisance for her opponents. She works tirelessly to create angles to receive the ball, or create space for others and draw defenders towards her, while understanding that the timing of her runs are one of the most critical aspects of her forward play.
As a striker, all youth players can learn a lot from the way Morgan makes her runs, and more importantly, how to bend them so they won't get called offside.
2. Reads The Game to Arrive On Point
All great goal scorers have a knack for arriving at the right place at the right time, and Alex Morgan is no different. She has a unique ability to pop up in all the right places, ready to pounce on scraps, rebounds, or mishandling from the keeper.
Reading the game is something all players must cultivate and improve upon to play at the highest levels, and this can be done in many different ways, one of which, that is often overlooked, is by watching professional soccer (or the Olympics) on TV.
Watching how the best of the best can anticipate where to make a run, where to play a ball, how to do so with limited touches, etc. is a great tool at the disposal of young players; And, the more your play, the more you improve, so go out and get touches on the ball, play street soccer, and live the game as much as possible.
3. Superb Finishing for The Team
Morgan can finish with all parts of her body, outside of the boot, laces, instep, toe-poke, headers, you name it. She has a cultured ability to put the ball in the back of the net derived from her dedication to technique and learning different methods of ball-striking.
Alex Morgan gets just as excited about a poacher's goal from two-inches out as she does from a 30-yard thunderbolt; They all count, and they all mean something for her team, and that sense of playing for the team, and finishing off chances for the team, is a superb characteristic that young players should absorb and celebrate.
4. Grassroots American Soccer Star
It's great to see an Olympic Development Player from California become a recognized global soccer-supstar! Alex Morgan is the perfect example of how our youth system on the women's side of the game is really working well, as her rise from a recognized Club and high school player saw her catapult into collegiate, Olympic, and then World Cup success.
Alex Morgan is the perfect example of what working hard and following your dreams is all about, and she is a great role model for young players to look up to.
The next time you train for your Club team, it won't be farfetched to dream big, and know that if you work hard, you might have a similar story to share in the coming years.
5. Committed to Sports & Education
Many top collegiate and professional sports stars choose to emphasize their profession over their education, but not Alex Morgan. The USWNT striker was just as dedicated to her schooling and education at the University of California as she was to her play on the pitch.
Morgan graduated with a degree in Political Economy and is a shinning example for young athletes everywhere who are striving to find the balance between athletic and educational success for their futures.