Georgia soccer coach Dan Blank has advice for young players


Dan Blank, associate head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs soccer team, has some words of wisdom for young players.

When you think “college coach” and “best-selling book” you might think of a Southern football icon. Or you might think of a former coach turned broadcaster.

Not so fast my friend.

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Dan Blank is the University of Georgia soccer associate head coach. His book SoccerIQ: Things That Smart Players Do is a NSCAA Soccer Journal Top 5 Book of the Year. It is also an Amazon best seller.

Blake Lovell of talked to Coach Blanks about SoccerIQ and his next two books:

"“Soccer iQ is successful because the material is genuinely good and it’s presented in a really easy-to-read fashion. It ‘s very straight forward and the chapters are brief and sometimes it’s a little bit funny. I’m excited that Everything Your Coach Never Told You Because You’re a Girl is now available as an ebook and will be out in paperback by the end of October. I’m releasing another book – this one is specifically for coaches – called Possession. Hopefully it will be available by Thanksgiving.”"

Three books, one already an Amazon best seller. Not bad for someone who became a coach out for desperation.

After taking the Air Force Officers Test, Blank shared a roach infested dive while waiting for his test results. After six weeks of waiting with no hot water or air conditioning in the roach infested apartment near Pittsburgh University, Blank woke up to a cockroach crawling across his chest. Having reached his breaking point, he called his college coach.

Coach Blank told the story to Blake Lovell:

"“It turned out that [John Cunningham’s] camps were starting that afternoon, so he invited me to come work three weeks of camp. I jumped at it when he promised me air-conditioning and three meals a day. In the second week of camp I was assigned as an assistant for Jim Regan, who was also the head coach at Wheeling Jesuit College. We had a great time coaching together. Toward the end of that week, Jim’s assistant at Wheeling resigned. Jimmy needed an assistant and I needed a job.”"

Coach Blank describes transitioning from high school to college as a “huge leap, and Coach Blank talked with Blake Lovell about transitioning from high school to college.

The college game is faster, more physical and adapting is difficult. Players transitioning to college need to be mentally and physically prepared to adapt and change to the game and to the coach.

Most freshman have no idea about the enormous time commitment. Weight training, study hall, video study, meetings, and treatment are all much more intense that in college than  in high school or club soccer programs. “Being a college athlete means saying no” to many of the college experiences the non-athlete enjoys. Most players adapt, but most players arrive at college unaware of the time demands.

There are many outstanding players playing on the college level. “Every kid on our team was the best player at her high school or club.” Before accepting an opportunity to play for a soccer program, players should investigate closely to see if they will actually be able to get on the field and play.

But once on a team it is important not to give up if playing time is not gained immediately. Do not mentally “check out”. Don’t feel sorry for yourself, be patient, but work hard and be ready when the opportunity presents itself. And once on a team, “Compete!” By competing hard against upperclassman, a freshman gains respect and will more likely be accepted into the team. Also, show up fit and ready to compete. “If you show up unfit, you’re going to be labeled a joke.”

Coach Blank’s website is and is on twitter at @SoccerPoet. Also visit Coach Blank’s Amazon book page.

Blake Lovell’s complete interview with Coach Blank is available at