When Football.com named it's Top 14 Books for Soccer Players and Coaches, seven of those titles came from a single author - Coach Dan Blank. Dan Blank has emerged as the most popular how-to author for soccer players and coaches. His first book, Soccer iQ, was named a Top 5 Book of the Year by the NSCAA Soccer Journal and has been the #1 bestseller in Amazon's Soccer and Coaching Soccer genres since 2013. It's also been an Amazon #1 best-seller in Canada and Australia. It has been featured in various soccer publications and websites and has been translated into six other languages: Russian, German, Danish, Dutch Chinese and Korean.
Dan has been coaching college soccer for over twenty years and most recently served as associate head coach at the University of Georgia. He is the first coach in Southeastern Conference history to lead the conference's best defense in consecutive years at different universities (Ole Miss 2009, Georgia 2010), a feat that is detailed in his book Shutout Pizza. He has an 'A' License from the USSF and an Advanced National Diploma from the NSCAA.
Coach Blank has also authored:
Soccer iQ - Volume 2
Every Thing Your Coach Never Told You Because You're a Girl
HAPPY FEET - How to Be a Gold Star Soccer Parent (Everything the Coach, the Ref and Your Kid Want You to Know)
ROOKIE - Surviving Your Freshman Year of College Soccer
Possession - Teaching Your Team to Keep the Darn Ball
Shutout Pizza - Smarter Soccer Defending for Players and Coaches
You can buy his books and read his blog at www.soccerpoet.com.
From the Author: Soccer iQ is the first book I published and I'm very proud of it. As I wrote Soccer iQ, I could never quite get over the fact that the book I was writing hadn't already been written. There are roughly seventeen million... that's right, seventeen MILLION soccer players in the United States, and no one thought it might be a good idea to write a book to help them become better soccer players??? If they wanted to become better players of Pac Man, Donkey Kong or Call of Duty, yeah, there were books available. But remarkably, no one had the idea to write a book that spelled out how 17 million people could become better soccer players. I felt like they guy who was about to invent the fork... in 2012. And then it happened all over again in 2014 with the publication of HAPPY FEET. Somehow, yet again, no one had written a book specifically for the parents of the 17 million players. So now as Soccer iQ educates soccer players, HAPPY FEET educates their parents. And ROOKIE, well, that's the ultimate survival guide for players about to enter the ranks of college soccer.
Everything Your Coach Never Told You Because You're a Girl is my personal favorite because I think it has the chance to impact a lot of lives. It also gave me the opportunity to write about some of the most competitive people I've ever coached, and it was a lot of fun telling their stories. I wouldn't recommend it for girls under the age of 13, but I'd sure as heck recommend it for every other girl who sees herself as an athlete. The reader response to this title has been tremendous. It's amazing to hear what an impact this book is having on people from coast to coast.
In 2016 I am planning to release the follow-up to EYCNTYBYAG - In My Tribe. This is a book written specifically for coaches of female athletes, regardless of their sport.
Shutout Pizza and Possession are books written to both coaches and players in the same style as Soccer iQ - brief chapters that break down the topics into small, memorable nuggets that are easy to digest.
In 2015 I released some companion videos for Soccer iQ that will help bring the teaching points to life for players and coaches. You can see these videos on the SoccerPoet Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf3eUcKccR43GgVrer3DDdA
What makes me proud of Soccer iQ is the response I've gotten from the soccer people I respect. Coaches who know the game tell me I've done something good, and that makes me stand a little bit taller. I've also gotten awesome responses from soccer players and parents, and that feels pretty good also. When someone I've never met emails to say, "Thank you for writing this book," well, that's kinda crazy... in the best possible way.
My favorite response came from a teenage girl in Florida. I've known this kid since she was a seven year-old soccer prodigy. She eats and breathes soccer and she's going to make some college coach very happy one of these days. Anyway, her soccer IQ has been very high for a long, long time, but unfortunately, the coach of her team isn't quite so soccer savvy. For years she has suffered the agony of knowing the game better than her coach does. So after she read Soccer iQ, she emailed to say that she loved it so much that she was going to buy a copy for her coach and highlight every line of every page. Now you don't know this girl, but believe me, that was a huge compliment!
Publishing a book is a little bit addictive. Let's face it, I've been writing gratis for so many years, it feels amazing to have people who are willing to actually pay for something I've written. Yeah, I know they are paying less than $10, but I thought it was more important for people to read Soccer iQ than it was for me make a lot of money from people reading it. And let me tell you, every time I see that someone else has bought my book, well, it never gets old.
The release of HAPPY FEET was very exciting because it gave me the opportunity to create companion videos for some of the chapters. I think that may make me 'cutting edge' in the world of how-to books. I was an absolute novice when I began creating those videos, and believe me, the learning curve was steep! But the hours of frustration were rewarded with a pretty awesome video element that really brings this book to life.
I think of HAPPY FEET as two books in one. The first section gives readers a working soccer vocabulary while also explaining some of soccer's more mysterious concepts such as the offside law, advantage, and systems of play. This is where the videos will be really helpful. The rest of the book helps guide parents into making decisions that will help foster their child's love of the game and continue their soccer involvement.
ROOKIE - Surviving Your Freshman Year of College Soccer is everything I wish someone would have told me before I walked into my first college soccer preseason. If you have a son or daughter who is about to take that next step into college soccer, do them a favor and buy this book for them. It'll flatten out the learning curve quite a bit. I believe that with the authorship of ROOKIE, I may have unintentionally created one of the world's greatest graduation gifts. Yay me!
I also keep a blog at www.soccerpoet.com. I invite you to check it out, and to be my Twitter friend. My handle is @SoccerPoet.
When I'm not coaching or writing or being dad, I look for any excuse to sneak away to Key West, Florida to soak up some sun, decompress and catch real big fish. If I ever hit the lottery, that's where you'll find me. I hope you'll stop in and say hello.