Trinity Rodman has made her own name on the football pitch but she's taken something from her famous father's relentless approach that can be summed up in one word: "Hunting."

It's part of what makes the 21-year-old forward, daughter of retired five-times NBA champion Dennis Rodman, one of the most rapidly rising stars of women's football.

Now she is poised for a World Cup breakout in New Zealand and Australia as the United States chase an unprecedented third straight title.

Rodman says it's her mother, Michelle Moyer, who shaped her values on and off the field.

But even though contact with her father is sporadic, she has spotted something that was in his game that informs hers, even though their sports are different.

"I watched my dad play a lot more than people really know," Rodman confided as the US team gathered in California before jetting out to New Zealand, where they arrived this week.

"My brother lived watching my dad's clips."

Dennis Rodman, whose five titles included three with the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls in 1996, 1997 and 1998, was a seven-time NBA rebounding champion whose flamboyance off the court was matched by his intensity on it, especially against larger rivals such as Shaquille O'Neal.

"Obviously my dad is pretty good at rebounding and with rebounding, it's hunting in front of goal, it's hunting when you lose the ball and I think that's a huge part of my game is regains, tracking back and being the first person to get a foot ahead, a knee, a shin on something that pops up," Rodman said.

"Even if he wasn't the first guy under the basket or he was next to Shaq, who was way bigger, way taller, he was going to get the rebound.

"It was timing, it was anticipation, it was body movement, it was positioning, it was everything."

Million-dollar contract

That same kind of sports IQ and fearlessness has fueled Rodman's own rapid rise.

At 18 she became the youngest player drafted into the National Women's Soccer League when the Washington Spirit selected her with the second overall pick.

Two months later, she made history by signing the first million-dollar contract in NWSL history.

Looking back, Rodman acknowledges that the deal added pressure to prove herself worthy of a seven-figure deal that had eluded the likes of Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan.

She made her presence felt immediately, scoring off the bench in her first game. 

However, the quick success -- and ensuing pressure to keep it up -- made for a sometimes uneasy rookie season.

But her focus on family has helped her stay grounded and a willingness to learn from mistakes has seen her continue to progress on the pitch.

Rodman has scored 19 goals in 63 matches with the Spirit and four in 18 internationals, including a brace against Wales in their final World Cup warm-up match.

"It's not about thinking only about your great performances," she said. 

"Before, I got so caught up in, 'I only want to think about the good ones. I don't want to watch the bad ones because it makes me feel worse about it.'

"But I think being able to reflect and improve on the things that you didn't do so well is really important.

"If you don't watch yourself fail, you're never going to be able to fix those things."