Very Good Training Guide


Aug 24, 2009
I don't know if something like this has been posted before, and if it has, sorry to Mods for posting it again.

But this is a very good Training Guide that dispels a lot of the myths I have heard about training youngsters.


Please note: this guide was written for and uses examples from FM 2010, however the concepts still apply and although some of the screenies may look different, many of them will be identical to FM11.

Combined with the Guide: Training [in development], we will try and help you make the most of those precocious young stars that can turn your club from also-rans to perennial champs. To many, myself included, there is nothing more satisfying than developing a home-grown talent into a regular international and indispensable member of your team. It's all well and good spending £30million on Džeko but wouldn't you rather sign him at 16 for pennies and watch him blossom at your own club?

The problem is turning that Potential Ability (PA) into Current Ability (CA). What affects how well a player develops? What separates your Rooney's from your Cadamarteri's? Your Messi's from your Burchill's?

In FM, certain attributes are crucial in player development. The first of these to be investigated is:


It has long been professed around the scene that a player's Determination attribute is a key factor in deciding how well he progresses and how close he gets to his Potential Ability (PA). In an effort to provide some concrete evidence of this, I ran a few experimental holiday saves with four identical 19 year-old players at Aberdeen FC, a club with moderate training facilities and coaches. Each of the four players had:

- CA 100 - PA 150
- identical attributes of 10 across the board
- except Determination which was set to:
  • Pupil A - Determination 1
  • Pupil B - Determination 8
  • Pupil C - Determination 14
  • Pupil D - Determination 20

Four different saves were ran which gave each player 3 x 2 seasons of first team football and 1 x 2 seasons of sitting on the bench.

The results were somewhat surprising with the graph below showing that Determination makes no discernible difference to player development. The valus shown in the graph below, as with all spider graphs in this guide, are the average points gained in the area shown on the axis.

Let down by that research, I continued searching for attribute factors which influenced development.


Professionalism is a hidden attribute which is alluded to by the player's personality, a breakdown of which can be found at this SI forum link.

Again, I set up four identical players, named Pupil A-D, with the only variable this time being their Professionalism stat; set to 1, 8, 14 and 20 respectively. All four were put on the following training schedule:

... and the game holidayed for two years. The players showed the following variable development:

Concrete evidence that Professionalism plays a huge part in a player's performance in training and thereby his development.

Targetting youth with a high Professionalism stat is therefore going to make a lot of sense as the player will be more likely to reach his potential. But what if you've found a potential star and his personality insinuates a low level of Professionalism? How can you prevent him becoming another Cherno Samba? Well fear not, help is at hand as you can affect a player's personality through tutoring, details of which are below.


Please note that this guide was originally done for FM10 and, as such, this part references the three previous tutoring options. There are now four options but they are very much the same idea. Just use some common sense.

Tutoring is just one of a myriad of facets to the game which SI have failed to explain properly, or at all in fact. The words "tutor" and "tutoring" each appear once and once only in the online manual, simply advising that it is something you can do, but with no indication of what tutoring actually does.

Until a helpful SI-type fellow posted this on the official forums:
Regarding tutoring. The short answer is that they all three options have the same outcome...

...The difference between the three options is now main the tutor will react to the request. For example, if you use the middle option with a tutor who sees themselves as a key player then they might react badly as you are undermining his role (as the tutor thinks he'll be that players ideal role model).

Hope this clears it up.
But what is that "same outcome"?

In an effort to find this out, some of us here at TD ran a few holiday saves with the intent of finding out just how much improvement can result from tutoring. This research took the form of four identical 'pupils' of CA 100 / PA 150 at Aberdeen FC, a club with modestly average facilities and coaches. Each pupil (imaginatively named Pupil A-D) were assigned identical tutors as follows:

- Pupil A was recommended Tutor A as a role model
- Pupil B was recommended Tutor B to adopt his approach to game
- Pupil C was recommended Tutor C as someone he could learn from
- Pupil D was left untutored.

To remove any outside influences skewing the results we put each player on a 'Maintain only' training schedule and lowered their reputations so that the Assistant Manager would not give them any game time.

The results are as follows:

Pupil D barely shows any signs of progression, whilst the tutored pupils all progress in every aspect of the game: technical, physical and mental stats; as well as acquiring Personal Preferred Moves (PPM's) and a substantial boost to their CA. All within 6 months, tutoring alone has helped to progress a player as much as 7 times quicker than with no tutoring whatsoever.

You can also see that, of the attribute increases affected, Mental attributes were the biggest beneficiaries; with Determination proving the single deciding factor in this - increasing by an average of 2 points over the course and on one occasion by as much as 5 points.

And yet the benefits of tutoring don't end there.

As we've seen above, PPM's are swiftly passed on from tutor to pupil over just 6 months of one-to-one affiliation. Whereas learning a single PPM can take a youngster 6 months AND 'costs' 20% of his training; our three tutored pupils in the research above assumed an average of 3 PPM's from their respective tutors over the same time-frame; at no cost to their training.

Be careful though, as PPM's you may not wish to pass on are just as likely to be learnt by a youngster. Picking your tutors carefully is just as important as finding that wonderkid striker. Not only can "negative" PPM's be passed along but attributes can also drop if the tutor has a lower value than the pupil. So far I have only noticed that "mental" and hidden "personality" attributes can drop through tutoring and this research by Ben would indicate that "technical" attributes will not. I have also never seen "physical" attributes drop through tutoring but one which can show a dramatic drop is Determination. Whilst we know this is not involved in player development, it is still a very handy attribute to have and you may want to re-consider tutoring a promising youngster if you are running the risk of his Determination and other mental attributes dropping.

To find out how to arrange tutoring, click here

Personalities and Tutoring

And there's one more benefit to tutoring. Personalities have a part to play in training performance, in so much as you are looking to find players with personalities which dictate a high Professionalism attribute. A breakdown of which personalities result from particular attribute levels can be found at this SI forum link.

To prove that these hidden personality attributes can be influenced by training, I ran a separate research save with all four pupils being identical in every way, three of whom were tutored by identical tutors except for some of the hidden personality stats which were set to various levels.

Over the course of 6 months, the un-tutored pupil showed no change in personality attributes whilst the three tutored pupils showed attribute changes at an average of 2 points in each area where the tutor's value was higher. Example in the spoiler:


As seen in the development section above, Professionalism is a hugely influential in ensuring that a player meets his potential and targetted tutoring with the older player having a high 'Professionalism' attribute that can be 'passed onto' the pupil will go a long way in turning your Franny Jeffers into a Kun Aguero.

For those of you, like myself, who don't like using in-game editors or scout tools to ascertain the hidden stats, keep an eye on the personality and media personality sections on the player's 'Personal' tab. Pupils can show gains which will not be immediately obvious in a personality change and it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint what exactly has happened given the paucity of information but rest assured that change are possible and can be affected without discernible results on the player's profile.

Playing time

It's fairly obvious that getting first team action is going to help a player develop, both in real life and in-game. Time on the pitch, whether at your club or out on loan, will give the youngster much needed experience. In real life there are endless examples of youngsters being put out on loan to smaller clubs where they are likely to get more game time. Take Jack Wilshere. Highly unlikely to get more than the odd sub appearance at Arsenal. However, putting him on loan to Bolton ensures that he'll gain first team experience and return to Arsenal a better player. Win-win.

In Football Manager, that experience is translated into attribute and CA boosts. As an example: over the course of four holiday saves, playing 30 games a season averaged additional attribute boosts as follows:

The problem is going to be that, at 17 or 18, your youngster just might not be good enough to give 30+ games a season without jeopardizing your chances of success. This is where loan deals and feeder clubs are invaluable. Be careful to pick a club where the youngster is likely to get plenty of game time, there's no point in him sitting on Macclesfield's bench, rather than your own. Little tip - never send a player out on loan without a recall clause, that way, if he loses his place in the team you can just re-call him.

You'll also need to make a judgement call. As we've seen, training and tutoring also play a huge part in developing a player and you won't be able to affect either while he's on loan at another club. You'll need to decide which is more important: first team football or the non-playing advantages you can bestow.


Using a combination of all the techniques above, in just 18 months I managed to turn Pupil D with CA 100:


Into this fellow with CA of 131:


How? He was tutored for 6 months by a 'model professional' tutor which changed his own personality to the same with a massive benefit to the hidden Professionalism attribute, given 40-odd games a season and set to a targetted training schedule.

Remember that PA is static for youngsters, at no point in any of these experiments did the PA of any player move at all. So you won't be able to take a Darren Mackie and turn him into Lionel Messi, but following the techniques outlined will go a long way to ensuring a player quickly develops into whatever potential he has.

Furthermore, it is worth remembering that there appears to be a randomness factor included in development. Over the course of the experiments, there were one or two rogue results which were factored out by the averaging process.

A little bit of luck goes a long way, but hopefully you'll now have the tools at your disposal to save your club millions: developing youngsters into your very own Steven Gerrard, Lionel Messi or Cesc Fabregas.

A big thanks to everyone who assisted in the research for this guide and those staff members that helped fine tune the article itself.


I want to make absolutely clear that NONE of this is my work. It was posted by Shrewnaldo on The Dugout forum.