This week’s installment of our “Fall Coach Fridays” series introduces us to Brian Thomsen, head coach of the Princeton Day School Boys Soccer Team.
Brian Thomsen has been playing soccer since he was six years old. He probably didn’t know it then, but he would eventually go on to make soccer not only his passion, but his career. “After a few years working in finance, I decided to start taking my passion for soccer more seriously. So for the last six years, I’ve been doing soccer as a full-time job. I’m currently the Director of Coaching at Next Level Soccer Academy in Pennington, the Head Coach of Real Central NJ’s WPSL Women's Program, and also The College of New Jersey’s Men’s Soccer Assistant Coach.” While Brian certainly has a lot of competing priorities, he says that the support he receives from his wife is what makes it all possible.
You have to believe in who you’re coaching, you’ve got to be able to communicate in a way that will enable players to see the best in themselves, and there has to be an environment that your players want to be involved in.
That support is just one example of the importance of a strong team in Brian’s life. He says that he wouldn’t have had the opportunity to coach with PDS if it weren’t for the support and mentorship he received from the “good people in the soccer world” who encouraged him to apply for the position. “I’d always known about PDS because I’ve met students who attended the School and they also attended the Next Level Soccer Academy, but actually being at the school has shown me that the emphasis on creating nurturing and educational environments for student athletes, coupled with the amazing facilities, is really important.”
According to Brian, the success of his student athletes on the field is part of a larger equation. “The School does a great job of setting up the foundation for all of these players to be successful, but I would say that the three most important things to remember as a coach is that you have to believe in who you’re coaching, you’ve got to be able to communicate in a way that will enable players to see the best in themselves, and there has to be an environment that your players want to be involved in.” As someone who had a very positive experience playing high school soccer, he wants his players to have those same feelings when they remember their own experiences at PDS. “I know the value of remaining a consistent source of support for my team, and I want to make sure they know that I am someone who wants the best for them.”
As far as his hopes for the season, Brian’s biggest priority is for the team to be in a position to compete throughout every game. “I want these guys to understand that being competitive will do so much more for them when we get to the later part of the season with tournaments. With that being said, it’s important to take everything one day and one step at a time. I know how adaptable this team is to switching up their mentality on a bad day to ensure that they’re going to work together and always be proud of what they did on the field.”