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After retiring at 22, Erin Mattson was cheerleading for the USA Hockey League as a college coach

After retiring at 22, Erin Mattson was cheerleading for the USA Hockey League as a college coach

Erin Mattson talks about supporting the current USA Field Hockey team

Mattson believes the current US team is well positioned to emerge from its recent decline towards Paris 2024, or failing that, the next Olympics.

“At the moment, there is some experience, but we are small compared to the world,” she points out.

“As college coaches and club coaches, we provide as much feedback as we can to improve it and make it a little more successful,” Mattson says of her role now. “It’s not just one year or a tournament that goes by and we win two games – that’s not how Holland or Argentina see success. You think about years and decades of success.

“So we’re doing everything we can to do it for our sport, for this (national) team, for the country, and hopefully move up in the rankings. I think (USA Hockey) is happy that I’m still involved (in some way).” . … I know they’re not happy because I’m not technically wearing a red, white or blue uniform, but they sure know that if they come to me with anything, I’m going to be honest, I’m going to tell them who’s best to be there, give them my thoughts and everything.

“USA Field Hockey knows that I will encourage as many girls as I can to come through the pipeline and in the system and represent our flag.”

As Mattson grows into her new role, what is her philosophy as head coach of the Tar Heels? Is he just focused on winning titles for Carolina, or is he contributing to the US National Team?

“I want (my players) to be great and succeed at whatever they want to do,” she says. “Most of the time it will be the national (group) championship or representing their country.

“I absolutely believe that my job is to help them and guide them and give them resources and give them opportunities, but they need to discover that greatness within themselves. Help them develop in general, whether it’s as a hockey player or as a person, in their career, in their relationships, in society whatever it may be.

“And hopefully the national championship and so on will be in place with that.”