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A Guide to Training

JohnConnor

Member
Nov 16, 2020
20
27
13
First the results to hook you in. The following results were achieved at Dulwich Hamlet, with training facilities of '5' or (later) '6', and with zero experience in competitive matches.

After 12 months:

12_months_1.png


12_months_2.png


12_months_3.png


12_months_4.png


12_months_6.png


After 2 years:

2_years.png


2_years_3.png


After 3 years:


2_years_2.png



Next come the caveats.

I use a Knap tactic for both my senior and youth teams, have 4 to 5 star coaches, and I almost always reload from save if a player gets a major injury. I have meticulously trained these players for a number of years. My goal is simple: I want the best possible improvement in attributes, full stop. Therefore you won't find a single 'rest' period in my schedule, which ideally looks like this:

schedule.png


The above aspects mean that my results are not easily comparable with the RDF Training Guide/Schedules, which are about half the intensity, and have been tested without the exploit tactics and injury avoidance I use.


Overload without Injury

The main issue with such a schedule is of course it's overloaded. Here are the principles I employ to mitigate injuries, fatigue and low condition:
  • Have a large selection of players to rotate to keep condition high, fatigue low and to prevent complacency. I personally find the sweet spot to be 2 players per position plus ~3 utilities.
  • Have one 'recovery' session after each match. 'Rest' reduces team cohesion and does not reduce 'injury risk'; its only benefits over 'recovery' are a bit more condition and a bit less fatigue - problems already solved by having a large squad. More crucially, 'recovery' greatly reduces 'injury risk', whereas 'rest' doesn't.
  • Have a mix of one high (i.e. Quickness), one medium (i.e. Defending Engaged), and one low (i.e. Teamwork) intensity sessions each day. After a match day, 'recovery' replaces the high intensity session.
Choosing Sessions

Since the tactic is what wins games, start with basing your favored attributes around that. That is, train players in the attributes that are important for your specific player positional roles and individual 'player instructions'. For instance a DL with 'shoot less often' probably needs goal-scoring related attributes less.

You want to set players to train in their specific roles, and more importantly, use 'individual focus' to build up a key attribute. It seems that training for a specific role rather than position, only comes into play when a session calls for 'individual roles' to be trained, which in my schedule, isn't often. It's worth noting that the 'additional' focus is exactly that - additional; that is, it does not take up a slice of the pie from training. This is shown in how despite having limited set piece training, 'Colin Currie' gained '6' in long throws with the focus on.

The other part of this is to choose sessions that train attributes that are, ideally, useful for all positions. Beyond relying upon SI's 'key attributes' for each positional role, I like to give some weighting to attributes that appear to have positive compounding effects. What I consider 'positive' is that which results in improved progress, happiness and performance - which are the three ultimate goals one wants to see of a player in the game I believe.

1.png


The larger the font, the more weighting I have given the attribute. An attribute such as 'Stamina' is highly desirable, because not only does it sustain performance in a match (and a series of matches), it also sustains condition allowing a player to train harder and avoid injury. Less injury results in more game time and better performance, and therefore better player happiness. There are multiple compounding effects going on here. Contrast that to 'ambition'. An ambitious player trains harder, but is prone to bouts of unhappiness due to wanting to move to a better club or more game time. This in turn negatively effects their performance and progress. 'Agility' is an example of attribute that has no direct link to happiness or progress, but is quite important for performance (in contrast to say, 'penalty taking').

So in the end we get a list of excellent, decent, and poor attributes. Every position benefits to an extent from 'Stamina' and it also has compounding positive effects, therefore it is an 'excellent' attribute. 'Anticipation' is another example of an attribute that applies to almost all positions. 'Dribbling' is an example of a relatively poor attribute, at least because my tactic disfavors dribbling.. but also because few positions require good dribbling.

Training sessions train certain attributes, often with other bonuses or downsides. Here is a breakdown of every option:

General

'Overall' - A waste. Supposedly all players will be working partly on their goalie skills!
'Outfield' - A bit less worse than overall, since goalkeepers are no longer working on their 'finishing'.
'Goalkeeping' - Although one of the 'general' options, use this once a week as a low intensity period, since there simply isn't enough periods to waste on all the specialized goalkeeper training options.
'Attacking'/'Possession'/'Defending' - Better than 'overall' and 'outfield', but still not as good as the more specialized options
'
Tactical' - Use this once a week, because although it is a 'general' option, all the attributes it trains are actually useful
'
Physical' - Only ever use this if say you've got a game every second day for 2 weeks but you want to keep all physicals from falling with a minimal impact on condition

Match Preparation

'
Match tactics' - Use in place of or alongside 'Teamwork' until the team is fully familiar with the match tactics.
'
Teamwork' - One to two times a week as a low intensity period. Improves team cohesion 'greatly', works on a key attribute (teamwork) and keeps up tactic familiarity as well as providing a match bonus.
'
Defensive Shape/Attacking Movement' - A waste.
'
Match Practice' - Don't know why one would ever use this. Why not just schedule a friendly?

Attacking/Defending/Technical/Tactical

I will post more on these sections of sessions later, but basically your tactic and weighting of attributes should determine what you select here.

Set Pieces

'
Attacking Free Kicks'/'Defending Free Kicks' - A poor option since it's basically just a match boost, and your 7th free kick taker will be wasting his time on an attribute he'll never utilize. Best to bring in your set piece takers pre-made, or otherwise use the individual focus option.
'
Attacking Corners'/'Defending Corners' - Same as above, but I guess more players will benefit from having better corners
'
Penalties' - Same issues, and penalty situations are fairly rare, however it might be worth putting it on once or twice in a season for the 2nd leg of a cup game say
'
Set Piece Delivery' - Employ this once every 2 weeks, preferably just before a hard or important match, to at least maintain existing set piece attributes

Extra-Curricular

'
Community Outreach'/'Team bonding' - It's tempting to throw one or two of these in for the year just for the sake of it isn't it. These are both inferior to 'Teamwork', however if if your team does need happiness then 'Team Bonding' is a superior option due to it 'greatly increasing' happiness.

I've got more to say but I'll put that in a Part 2 post. Soon™.
 

Fra

Moderator
Staff member
Mar 25, 2013
377
10
18
Looking forward to reading the further parts! Well written and training is quite underestimated.
 

Liam

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 7, 2011
954
605
93
28
United Kingdom
fm-base.co.uk
First the results to hook you in. The following results were achieved at Dulwich Hamlet, with training facilities of '5' or (later) '6', and with zero experience in competitive matches.

After 12 months:

View attachment 522905

View attachment 522906

View attachment 522907

View attachment 522908

View attachment 522909

After 2 years:

View attachment 522910

View attachment 522912

After 3 years:


View attachment 522911


Next come the caveats.

I use a Knap tactic for both my senior and youth teams, have 4 to 5 star coaches, and I almost always reload from save if a player gets a major injury. I have meticulously trained these players for a number of years. My goal is simple: I want the best possible improvement in attributes, full stop. Therefore you won't find a single 'rest' period in my schedule, which ideally looks like this:

View attachment 522918

The above aspects mean that my results are not easily comparable with the RDF Training Guide/Schedules, which are about half the intensity, and have been tested without the exploit tactics and injury avoidance I use.


Overload without Injury

The main issue with such a schedule is of course it's overloaded. Here are the principles I employ to mitigate injuries, fatigue and low condition:
  • Have a large selection of players to rotate to keep condition high, fatigue low and to prevent complacency. I personally find the sweet spot to be 2 players per position plus ~3 utilities.
  • Have one 'recovery' session after each match. 'Rest' reduces team cohesion and does not reduce 'injury risk'; its only benefits over 'recovery' are a bit more condition and a bit less fatigue - problems already solved by having a large squad. More crucially, 'recovery' greatly reduces 'injury risk', whereas 'rest' doesn't.
  • Have a mix of one high (i.e. Quickness), one medium (i.e. Defending Engaged), and one low (i.e. Teamwork) intensity sessions each day. After a match day, 'recovery' replaces the high intensity session.
Choosing Sessions

Since the tactic is what wins games, start with basing your favored attributes around that. That is, train players in the attributes that are important for your specific player positional roles and individual 'player instructions'. For instance a DL with 'shoot less often' probably needs goal-scoring related attributes less.

You want to set players to train in their specific roles, and more importantly, use 'individual focus' to build up a key attribute. It seems that training for a specific role rather than position, only comes into play when a session calls for 'individual roles' to be trained, which in my schedule, isn't often. It's worth noting that the 'additional' focus is exactly that - additional; that is, it does not take up a slice of the pie from training. This is shown in how despite having limited set piece training, 'Colin Currie' gained '6' in long throws with the focus on.

The other part of this is to choose sessions that train attributes that are, ideally, useful for all positions. Beyond relying upon SI's 'key attributes' for each positional role, I like to give some weighting to attributes that appear to have positive compounding effects. What I consider 'positive' is that which results in improved progress, happiness and performance - which are the three ultimate goals one wants to see of a player in the game I believe.

View attachment 522948

The larger the font, the more weighting I have given the attribute. An attribute such as 'Stamina' is highly desirable, because not only does it sustain performance in a match (and a series of matches), it also sustains condition allowing a player to train harder and avoid injury. Less injury results in more game time and better performance, and therefore better player happiness. There are multiple compounding effects going on here. Contrast that to 'ambition'. An ambitious player trains harder, but is prone to bouts of unhappiness due to wanting to move to a better club or more game time. This in turn negatively effects their performance and progress. 'Agility' is an example of attribute that has no direct link to happiness or progress, but is quite important for performance (in contrast to say, 'penalty taking').

So in the end we get a list of excellent, decent, and poor attributes. Every position benefits to an extent from 'Stamina' and it also has compounding positive effects, therefore it is an 'excellent' attribute. 'Anticipation' is another example of an attribute that applies to almost all positions. 'Dribbling' is an example of a relatively poor attribute, at least because my tactic disfavors dribbling.. but also because few positions require good dribbling.

Training sessions train certain attributes, often with other bonuses or downsides. Here is a breakdown of every option:

General

'Overall' - A waste. Supposedly all players will be working partly on their goalie skills!
'Outfield' - A bit less worse than overall, since goalkeepers are no longer working on their 'finishing'.
'Goalkeeping' - Although one of the 'general' options, use this once a week as a low intensity period, since there simply isn't enough periods to waste on all the specialized goalkeeper training options.
'Attacking'/'Possession'/'Defending' - Better than 'overall' and 'outfield', but still not as good as the more specialized options
'
Tactical' - Use this once a week, because although it is a 'general' option, all the attributes it trains are actually useful
'
Physical' - Only ever use this if say you've got a game every second day for 2 weeks but you want to keep all physicals from falling with a minimal impact on condition

Match Preparation

'
Match tactics' - Use in place of or alongside 'Teamwork' until the team is fully familiar with the match tactics.
'
Teamwork' - One to two times a week as a low intensity period. Improves team cohesion 'greatly', works on a key attribute (teamwork) and keeps up tactic familiarity as well as providing a match bonus.
'
Defensive Shape/Attacking Movement' - A waste.
'
Match Practice' - Don't know why one would ever use this. Why not just schedule a friendly?

Attacking/Defending/Technical/Tactical

I will post more on these sections of sessions later, but basically your tactic and weighting of attributes should determine what you select here.

Set Pieces

'
Attacking Free Kicks'/'Defending Free Kicks' - A poor option since it's basically just a match boost, and your 7th free kick taker will be wasting his time on an attribute he'll never utilize. Best to bring in your set piece takers pre-made, or otherwise use the individual focus option.
'
Attacking Corners'/'Defending Corners' - Same as above, but I guess more players will benefit from having better corners
'
Penalties' - Same issues, and penalty situations are fairly rare, however it might be worth putting it on once or twice in a season for the 2nd leg of a cup game say
'
Set Piece Delivery' - Employ this once every 2 weeks, preferably just before a hard or important match, to at least maintain existing set piece attributes

Extra-Curricular

'
Community Outreach'/'Team bonding' - It's tempting to throw one or two of these in for the year just for the sake of it isn't it. These are both inferior to 'Teamwork', however if if your team does need happiness then 'Team Bonding' is a superior option due to it 'greatly increasing' happiness.

I've got more to say but I'll put that in a Part 2 post. Soon™.
This is amazing. Can we turn these into articles?
 

JohnConnor

Member
Nov 16, 2020
20
27
13
Looking forward to reading the further parts! Well written and training is quite underestimated.
This is amazing. Can we turn these into articles?
Thanks
Yes, feel free to make articles using my information, though I would like a simple attribution to my username and blog.

The reason I haven't made this into a blog post yet is because it's more speculative than fact-based, unlike my findings on newgen PA. When I get more evidence, and perhaps tune it to work better, then I will make it into a blog post.

I tried to do a quick test to replicate the RDF training (used Brighton, no knap tactics or reloading to avoid injuries, default coaches ~3.5 stars, default players, used on first team) - didn't get good results.. but as I'll explain today in my Part 2, first team results will not be as good as youth teams due to the more packed match schedules that leave less for training. That doesn't explain all of it in this case though. I think the other reasons are relatively low happiness (due to losing matches), mediocre coaching quality, and presumably pretty poor potential players. The players shown in my images aren't all high PA players with perfect personalities however; they are pretty good, but you can see they are all in my under 23s, and the reason for that is that they weren't good enough for my first team and were basically just fodder to fill out the u23s.

Hey, wanted your opinion on this. I'm running the top Knap Tactic on the Tactics Testing.
Defending engaged and defending disengaged are conflicting sessions, you only want to choose one, that suits your tactic
'Transition' and 'Ball' ones I would change too, but this is only because those do not suit my tactic (which is Knap's tactic) - for these types of sessions, as I'll flesh out in my part 2 today, you need to look at what attributes your tactic utilizes and then select sessions that train those attributes, tactical roles or good attributes in general (i.e. anticipation, since almost every position utilizes it)
 

fc.cadoni

Premium
Feb 19, 2019
667
139
43
Athens, Greece
Seems like this year, training rating affected more by morale than even before. Tried your way, was getting very good results while I was winning; but did terrible when I had many loss. Happened to every training I have tried - both posted trainings around the net & experimental ones.

- Tested team with Arminia.
 

JohnConnor

Member
Nov 16, 2020
20
27
13
Part 2.

'Attacking'/'Possession'/'Defending' (specialized) sessions

In my schedule I have 'attacking wings', 'defending engaged', 'chance conversion', 'chance creation', and 'aerial defense'. You will want to choose your own sessions based on what tactical style and attributes your tactic utilizes, but also try and favor sessions that build up attributes applicable to every position. I will now illustrate using the example of 'attacking wings' vs. 'attacking direct':


attacking1.png

attacking2.png


I have crossed out everything that is the same, leaving the differences. Highlighted in green is an attribute that all 'attacking' unit players will use, which is something to take into consideration. With 'attacking wings' what you evidently get is better crossing and heading. This seems to suit my tactic where I have frequent crossing into the box by defensive wingers with 'shoot less often'. But if your tactic is focused on long range shots, you would want to go with 'attacking direct'.

First team results

12 months:

1st_team1.png


2 years:

1st_team2.png


3 years:

1st_team_3years.png


You'll notice that these results aren't as impressive as the u23s players I included in my first post. I suspect there are two reasons for this. One is that the first team has less time for training due to having more matches (not to mention subsequent rest requirements). The other is unhappiness due to losing games, which happens at least some of the time even with a Knap tactic.

In theory then regardless of whether you are using a Knap tactic or not, you should be able to replicate the good results by keeping your youth players in your u18s/u23s for as long as possible before bringing them into the first team. It's interesting to think that by denying yourself entry to the u23s leagues, you can get better results, because then you can just schedule friendlies against very weak teams that you always win. But if your team is already entered into the u23s leagues, then it shouldn't be too hard to at least fill your youth teams with good enough players to beat the competition regularly. If you can keep a player in the u23s until about age 20, then they will have underwent the bulk of their development.


Goalkeepers & low PA players

Here's what happens once a player reaches his peak PA:

1st_team_peak_PA.png


Goalkeeper result:

gk_u23s.png


When I first created my training schedule, I dedicated only one general goalkeeping period every 1-2 weeks, because I thought it's only one player that I can just bring in and sustain rather than train up. Goalkeepers take a longer time to develop to an adequate level too, and almost never become as good as what you can bring in. However I found that schedule to be inadequate, as my first team goalkeeper was declining a bit. So I added some more goalkeeper sessions, which also helps reduce the workload on the rest of the team. If I were to tweak it again, I guess I'd sacrifice a goalkeeping session for team bonding at least.

Some other tips and tricks

Despite having 2-3 'endurance' periods per week, the increase in 'natural fitness' has been minimal. Therefore it's probably better to bring in players that already have at least decent natural fitness. Perhaps the merit of the 'endurance' session itself may also need to be reassessed..

The 'worst player' in 'Team Report' > 'Stats' probably gives a solid idea of who needs an 'additional focus' on that particular aspect of their game (i.e. passing).

Although not that useful, it is interesting to know that you can find out the exact % intensity a particular session has by hovering over a day that exceeds the 100% intensity of a match day:

115.png


From this, the following can be deduced:

quickness = 45%
endurance = 40%
match practice = 40%
physical = 35%
resistance = 35%
overall = 24%
attacking wings = 16%
attacking patient/direct = 15%
defending engaged/disengaged/wide = 15%
ball distribution = 15%
ground defense/aerial defense = 11%
chance conversion/creation = 11%

Note however that because a session such as 'chance creation' focuses mainly on the 'attacking' unit rather than evenly, the real intensity will be a bit higher for one unit and a bit lower for the others. The top 6 most intense sessions listed are all even.

Going by this image from the SI forums, coaches supposedly train individual certain individual attributes, which is handy to know if true:


image.png.50a47733e155b7851a3fd1d7d5vvc347456.png


Although better read using 3rd party tools, a club's 'training facilities', 'youth facilities', 'junior coaching' and 'youth recruitment' level is described in the text in 'History' > 'Overview' > 'Club Background'.
 

JohnConnor

Member
Nov 16, 2020
20
27
13
Seems like this year, training rating affected more by morale than even before. Tried your way, was getting very good results while I was winning; but did terrible when I had many loss. Happened to every training I have tried - both posted trainings around the net & experimental ones.

- Tested team with Arminia.
Yes, that's probably very well true. I'm using FM19 and experienced the same.

Your post made me think about this and brought me to a conclusion that I mention in Part 2, which is that the way to go about it would be to leave youth players in your youth teams for as long as possible to develop there - setting them up infrequent friendlies against very weak teams, or at least leaving them to play against teams such as Brighton u23s instead of in the premier league.

I might do a test where I compare using RDF training vs mine, using the u23s instead of first team, to get a more accurate picture of whether it's better or not.
 

fc.cadoni

Premium
Feb 19, 2019
667
139
43
Athens, Greece
Yes, that's probably very well true. I'm using FM19 and experienced the same.

Your post made me think about this and brought me to a conclusion that I mention in Part 2, which is that the way to go about it would be to leave youth players in your youth teams for as long as possible to develop there - setting them up infrequent friendlies against very weak teams, or at least leaving them to play against teams such as Brighton u23s instead of in the premier league.

I might do a test where I compare using RDF training vs mine, using the u23s instead of first team, to get a more accurate picture of whether it's better or not.
I did an experiment with AM (Arminia AM) - Setting him CA185 (of course with right attributes to be AM & Coach) and delegate training to him. What's was interesting; nothing special in training schedules (rotation between attack - defense - possession - physical - technical); is that he assigned players to train NOT according to the tactic (it was a Knap tactic), but in the role which the player have more "stars". For example, he put the DL to train as Wing Back Defend - tactic was having IWB Support. Player was happy; but result wise not the great one (on pitch).

Now, I am even more confused with FM21 Training part, FM20 was more easy.

====

One thing is sure:

- Ambition
- Determination
- Professionalism

Is MUST.
 

davescott

Member
Nov 24, 2019
6
0
1
I would like to provide some input here. Basically, players will just do nothing in "rest", but they will do their individual training in "recovery", and it does tax them a bit of intensity. So if you do focus more on individual training, you can take advantage of "recovery" session, but you have to check the individual workload to make sure that it stays at Medium.
 

Lewis07

Member
Jun 16, 2020
55
6
8
if you don't specify a role, and leave ti to an assistant/coach, I think they train the player in their favoured position/role, regardless of the tactic, if you want a specific role, best to train yourself
 

fc.cadoni

Premium
Feb 19, 2019
667
139
43
Athens, Greece
if you don't specify a role, and leave ti to an assistant/coach, I think they train the player in their favoured position/role, regardless of the tactic, if you want a specific role, best to train yourself
This my find after creating the ultimate AM. He add players to train with what prefer - despite the tactic role is completely different.

For example: DL - IWB Support > AM set to train as Wing Back Defend. For my surprise, he developed attributes outside from Wing Back Defend plus that player was always happy. So, that is a proof to me: Player develop attributes based on training schedules rather than if you put it to train as BBM or CF.
 

davescott

Member
Nov 24, 2019
6
0
1
This my find after creating the ultimate AM. He add players to train with what prefer - despite the tactic role is completely different.

For example: DL - IWB Support > AM set to train as Wing Back Defend. For my surprise, he developed attributes outside from Wing Back Defend plus that player was always happy. So, that is a proof to me: Player develop attributes based on training schedules rather than if you put it to train as BBM or CF.
It should not be a surprise, because role training belongs to individual training. Team training will still affect the whole unit or team based on schedules.

A special note is that, if you put more "recovery" to the schedule instead of "rest", individual training will have more effect. Because in "recovery" there is no team training, but players still work on their individual.
 
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