What Youth Players Can Learn From Watching Mallory Pugh
She made her USWNT debut earlier this year at only 17 years old. Now 18, she is the second youngest Olympian in U.S. Women’s National Team history.
Many would expect her to play like an inexperienced rookie but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Mallory Pugh has been experiencing a lot of incredible first achievements this year and is taking them all in stride. Although she isn’t much older than youth players, we all can learn a lot just by watching her play.
Here is what we’ve learned so far:
Age doesn’t mean you can’t compete with the best of them
She plays with wisdom and maturity far beyond her years. She seems to be a soccer genius and understands game situations extremely well.
Even when she loses the ball, she is poised and tries her best to win it back right away.
She utilizes her skills to the best of her ability
She knows what she’s good at and uses it to her advantage.
She’s got great speed and uses her foot skills to get behind the defense line and get on the end of crosses from her teammates or she takes people on the outside and crosses a perfect ball to her teammates.
Confidence will take you as far as you let it
Despite her age, she doesn’t show fear on the field. You can see the determined look she gets during games and it’s clear she refuses to be shaken by the pressure.
She’s become somewhat of a superstar in the last 6 months and you wouldn’t know it.
She humbles herself on the team. She knows to cross instead of shoot if she has a bad angle. This is evidenced by the fact that she led the USWNT with 7 assists on the year since making her debut in 2016.
Pugh also knows when to take it to goal herself as she scored 3 goals.
She’s a good teammate
She’s somebody others want to be around. Not only is it nice to have your teammates as friends off the field, but also being a good teammate lends to better play on it.
Having a kind, humble personality makes her a likeable person and helps the team chemistry, which creates a certain flow during games.
Some have already compared her to Mia Hamm and while that may be a bit premature, it’s easy to see that she will be a player to watch for many years to come.