FM Training Guide

Part 1 Setting your filters

Before we begin on training the first thing you have to do is set up your training views. Do this on the squad screen instead of the training screen, since there’s more real estate there.  This is what mine looks like and you can download the view from here.

I updated it, it now looks slightly different





The view simply has these categories which I deem important to track.

  • Player Name
  • Position
  • Starts
  • Appearances
  • Age
  • Training Performance
  • Ass Man assessment of Potential Ability
  • Ass Man assessment of Current Ability
  • Control Individual Training
  • Focus Intensity
  • Focus Area
  • Preferred Move Training
  • Training Happiness
  • First Touch, Composure, Anticipation, Teamwork (My training plans DNA)
  • Media Handling
  • Personality

By having a detailed view on the Squad page I am able to handle everyone’s training without having to go to the individual training areas it saves me a shitload of time.

Part 2 Understanding your players

Ever had a personality clash when trying to tutor players? Well if you have, then you need to read this.

Players enter the FM world with one of 37 different personalities in the game (of which i know) There are a slate of attributes hidden and public that go into the concoction of their personality. For a perfectionist personality the professionalism attribute will be between 18-19. Determination is an important factor in determining the kind of personality he will have. How well he responds to training is a function of his personality and how his media handling attributes. Its all very complicated and I tend to dumb it down for myself. I have absolutely no desire to min max these and if you do want to do min maxing then I suggest you read this thread. It was a brilliant thread while it lasted.

A players personality is made up from hidden attributes, these are the basic ones.

  • Adaptability
  • Ambition
  • Controversy
  • Loyalty
  • Pressure
  • Professionalism
  • Sportsmanship
  • Temperament
  • Determination
  • Influence

To simplify things, when training players I focus on players based on their level of professionalism since this drives how well they train. A players hidden attributes can change with age, tutoring and events. You need good professionalism to develop young players so they train better, good tutors to keep in your stable should be either:

Model Citizen, Model Professional, Professional, Fairly Professional, Perfectionist, Resolute, and maybe Spirited they will all have a professionalism stat of at least 15, apart from Spirited which is between 11-17.  A players determination is not relevant to their development, professionalism and ambition are. A player can have low determination and yet have high ambition and professionalism.

Determination is still a good attribute for players for their on field performance, and whilst its not important for training, its still important for results.

I intend to keep things simple. I don’t use editors and I don’t want to bust my head open and chase a min-maxed game. The goal is to make training simple enough for me to use on a long term basis.

So if you have a player with low professionalism, option A, get him tutored by one who has higher professionalism, option b, sell him.

  • Tutoring Requirements
  • Higher squad status
  • Higher reputation
  • Playing a similar position
  • Onfield and Off field tutoring – one leads to possible transfer of PPMs and personality and another leads to personality without ppms

Understanding your coaches

You can assign coaches to different training categories, their workload and coach ratings affect the quality of training a player and this will impact on their attribute development. Use the tick boxes to redistribute the loads for the coaches. A 5 star coach should be on one category to maximise development, to reduce the load so that the training is more focused add another coach to achieve the lightest workload possible.

Each coach’s star rating is determined by his staff attributes which include coaching attributes and mental attributes. This star rating will be reduced if you assign him to additional categories. as he will need to split his attention between them. Assigning a weaker coach to a category which has a five star coach will not reduce the quality of training, it will help reduce the workload. Each training category has either a primary attribute and sometimes a secondary attribute. Where two attributes are listed the latter is the secondary attribute.

  1. Strength: Fitness
  2. Aerobic: Fitness
  3. Tactics: Tactical
  4. Ball Control: Technical, Mental
  5. Defending: Defending, Tactical
  6. Attacking: Attacking, Tactical
  7. Shooting: Technical, Attacking
  8. Shot Stopping: Goalkeeping, Tactical
  9. Handling: Goalkeeping, Technical

In addition these, Determination, Level of Discipline and Motivation are the mental attributes that affect their stat rating, The higher all these attributes are the more stars he has.  For youth training, I also include, Man Management and Working with Youngsters in my attributes.

Understanding Training

A players training time is fixed, the goal is to improve his Current Ability over time.

What kind of training is the best?

Basically there is General Training and Individual Training. Once a season is underway and as soon as you can, you need to get Individual training focus to 10%. This ensures that a player spends max amount of time on development. The key now is how to distribute that 20% of General training.  If you want more details you should just go to my blog which has detailed pages on training,

You can choose one of two methods: Balanced or Focused

Balanced training for the whole season: this is a safe route to take, but it does one no favors in setting up a team flavor. You have absolutely no control over where the attributes may fall, and they will fall within any of the 5 sub categories of training Teamwork, Ball Control, Mental, Fitness, Attacking and Defending. That’s a total of 36 attribute areas. It’s still a great way to train. And definitely the easiest. If you want more of a challenge then…

You can also opt to give your team a flavor: Focused Training

There is ONLY ONE way of doing this. There are really only 8 months of training, even though one may argue they start the season in July and end in May, you have to allow one month for things like making up time for cohesion if the squad is filled with noobs.

Since a player needs a minimum of 3 months for attributes to stick, you can only devote two sessions of Focused Training, and this allows you to set a theme. My theme has always been what I called the Rinus Michel school, where we tackle Ball Control and Tactics, allowing us to hone our First Touch, Composure, Decisions, Anticipation, Concentration, Dribbling, Flair, Teamwork, Heading and Technique. For me, these are the defining hall-marks of my systems.

You can have your own systems too, if you so choose and then focus training along those attribute lines. If you are a low league side and want to focus on survival you may opt for defense and fitness.

In neither system will a player ALWAYS gain attribute increases in all the targeted attribute areas. Balanced training will not result in someone having all the sub-categories show absolute improvement, and the same holds for Focused training.

What is important to see is whether your training programs target the right attributes you want developed for the player to perform his roles well on the pitch.

You can go in blind and just pick and choose..or you could look at the roles of the player you him to be more familiar with within your system of play and then assign a specific training program for each player. Here’s an example I have decided to train this player as an Inside forward and he’s under my focused training plan. The boxed areas reflect the ball control and tactics training influence and the blue shaded attributes will be those influenced by his specific role training.


In the example above, I wanted my player to gain attribute development along the lines of an Inside Forward, since that specific role training had the most number of attributes I was chasing after for that specific player. Sometimes two players in a similar position can be trained in different roles. I could have 2 forwards and train one as an Inside Forward whilst other could be trained as a poacher. In this case I select which attributes are needed and set the training accordingly.

If you are uncertain what attributes are being affected go to the training development page of a player and look here. You can see what attributes are affected by specific roles or by specific training categories. In this example, I am looking at the categories for Fullback Training.

Training Focus


Training Loads

This is an example of a Focused training program, alternatively you can elect to have a Balanced training program for your players but you should maintain the same general training intensity, match prep and focus intensity levels, in which case your training category will be Balanced.

Match preparation training are just short term gains to current ability.

 Category General Trg Intensity Match Prep Focus Intensity
JULY Fitness High 40% Light
AUG Ball Control Low 10% Heavy
SEPT Ball Control Low 10% Heavy
OCT Ball Control Low 10% Heavy
NOV Ball Control Low 10% Heavy
DEC Ball Control Low 10% Heavy
JAN Tactics Low 10% Heavy
FEB Tactics Low 10% Heavy
MAR Tactics Low 10% Heavy
APR Tactics Low 10% Heavy
MAY Tactics Low 10% Heavy

If you choose to focus on specific DNA markers for your team and elect to “force” attribute development in these areas, bear several things in mind:

  1. The effect is minimal but its still there, since a player’s training focus is still very much defined by his playing position and the roles he has already learnt, so even if you go balanced, and the attribute distribution is still affected by those factors.

  2. Quality of coaches, quality of facilities and playing time still influence attributes. If you want his Current Ability to improve, a player still needs to play games. Its been my experience that 15 games at senior level should suffice, however going on loan with a team of players who are playing at a good level is still great if he plays games and the quality of training is good. 

  3. Any tutoring or PPMs get suspended when there is a long injury or a player goes on loan


Understanding PPMs

Player Preferred Moves are little traits that a player can pick up through training or tutoring.

This is the full list of player preferred moves in the game, some can be taught by coaches and others can only be learnt via tutoring. A 17 year old player can learn 5 ppms by the time he is 20, and by then he should have been with the club for 3 seasons earning home grown status. By then you can either start giving him time with the first time, or continue his development. Personally I continue players development, making sure they are capable in at least two positions. That takes one season, and you can put the player on loan once he’s ready and tell the loanee club that he can only play in the new position.

Some people may dislike playing with ppms, but imagine the variety of play you can achieve. To give you an example I had a defender who could also play as a midfielder, at the age of 17 I got him to learn, and he naturally developed a very good passing game.

Likes to dicate tempo
Likes to play killer balls
Get forward whenever possible

My winger on the left has dribbling of 19, composure of 19, acceleration of 20 and pace of 19. With really good ball control skills I gave him the task of

Get forward whenever possible
Runs with balls often
Plays simple one twos
Knocks ball past opponents
Places shots

I also have this winger on the right who possesses a great throw and he has 5 ppms including a long flat throw and 7 assists in 13 games, from his throw

That defender is a lynchpin for my defense now and through him we create a lot of chances, in fact its never surprising for me to see him run the ball up the field and play a killer pass to one of my wingers who then scores. The winger on the left is now encouraged to run with the ball and pull defenses open and when he does that its almost always an assist or he scores. Below is a full list of ppms, and there are combinations you can make to allow you to do things you can;t in the TC, like having a fullback who’s the source of all attacks.

  1. Argues with Officials
  2. Arrives late in Opponent’s Area
  3. Attempts Overhead Kicks
  4. Attempts to Develop Weaker Foot
  5. Avoids Using Weaker Foot
  6. Comes Deep To Get Ball
  7. Curls Ball
  8. Cuts Inside
  9. Dictates Tempo
  10. Dives Into Tackles
  11. Does Not Dive Into Tackles
  12. Dwells on Ball
  13. Gets Forward Whenever Possible
  14. Gets Into Opposition Area
  15. Hits Free Kicks With Power
  16. Hugs Line
  17. Knocks Ball Past Opponent
  18. Likes To Lob Keeper
  19. Likes To Round Keeper
  20. Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank
  21. Likes To Try To Beat Offside Trap
  22. Looks For Pass Rather Than Attempting To Score
  23. Marks Opponent Tightly
  24. Moves Into Channels
  25. Penalty Box Player
  26. Places Shots
  27. Plays No Through Balls
  28. Plays One-Twos
  29. Plays Short Simple Passes
  30. Plays With Back To Goal
  31. Possesses Long Flat Throw
  32. Refrains From Taking Long Shots
  33. Runs With Ball Down Left
  34. Runs With Ball Down Right
  35. Runs With Ball Often
  36. Runs With Ball Rarely
  37. Runs With Ball Down Centre
  38. Shoots From Distance
  39. Shoots With Power
  40. Stays Back At All Times
  41. Stops Play
  42. Tries First Time Shots
  43. Tries Killer Balls Often
  44. Tries Long Range Passes
  45. Tries Long Range Free Kicks
  46. Tries To Play Way Out Of Trouble
  47. Uses Long Throw To Start Counter Attacks


There are two options when you want to tutor a player. The first option teaches him ppms and affects his mental disposition, and the second option only affects his mental disposition. You can tutor anyone but the chances of success depends on how “senior” the tutor is, whether they have positions they play in common and whether the tutored is injured or not. Tutoring can transfer some of the ppms and takes 180 days to the best of my knowledge. Coaches can also come with PPMs and these coaches have a higher probability of getting players to learn them.

Tutoring can affect personality, ppms or both.

Using PPMS in a game

Its not really hard, but you really need a plan. You can’t simply decide that you want two players to approach the game identically. That won’t happen. What you need to do is to look at the roles you have and see how ppms can enhance them. I have three positions which are key in my 4411: the right fullback, the left winger and the AMC.

Right fullback

I have an explosive fullback in this position, and when he was younger I was singularly focused on making sure he could dual hat a wingback role as well, so I trained him for both. The player had great stamina, teamwork, natural fitness, concentration, pace and acceleration. With those key attributes I set about looking at ppms to make this attacking fullback position more deadly.

So I added Get Forward, plays killer ball, runs down right flank, knocks ball past opponent.

The reason why I chose knock ball past opponent was because of his acceleration and his crossing, his pace and concentration made him a good choice for an attacking fullback role, right now he is one of the most important players in my squad and at the age of 27 easily a world class player.

Left Midfielder

My winger is expected to dribble at players, break defenses open, get goalside and basically wreak havoc. At the age of 15 I found a young player who had phenomenal acceleration, 17 at that age was very high. Couple with his high pace and stamina I knew that there was a strong chance if he developed right he would be an ace in the hole.

I immediately set to get him to learn two more positions, by the time he was 17 he could play as an AMC, AML and an ML. By 18 he was the European Golden Boy winner, today he has 18 dribbling 15 passing and 17 first touch – a great addition to the left.

In order to exploit his potential I knew that he needed to be paired with a more restrained fullback who could one two with him so that he could have miles of space to exploit. So I gave him the ppms, plays one-twos, gets forward, runs with ball often, knocks ball past opponents and places shots. This has seen him get goal side tonnes of times to score and he frequently beats players to cross from the byeline. His unpredictability down the left has seen many defenses crumble.

In the middle my amc has been given, plays killer balls, switch ball to flanks and get forward.

But to give all these players their ppms they first need the right attributes so they can exploit those ppms. If you give a player the ppm of getting forward but he has low decisions and composure, then its pointless.

Knowing whom to give those ppms is the key to making successful tactics. You don’t need every player on the pitch to be walking with a ppm, you need your key players to have them and then once your system becomes rock solid the translation is near flawless on the pitch


  1. Hi, I imported your training view screen, however, when I auto size all column’s, it doesn’t show all information that is on your screenshot, I miss the personality and media-handling, among some of the stats, the last visible column is ‘new preferred move’.

    Auto resizing the columns does not help to make all information visible.
    Manual resizing works for all columns except the last one.

    Where ever there is a vertical line between columns, the size of the column can be resized by dragging it, however at the end of the last column, it cannot be dragged, I don’t know how to fix.
    I put my font at 75%, but that doesn’t help me at all.

    Thank you for your response in advance,

    The Netherlands

    1. There is a known issue with the columns, I usually have to do some jiggling every now and then, and it helps having a huge monitor. I would probably limit the columns if you are losing information.

  2. Just to clarify your latest video

    Balanced is ok, at high intensity for the whole season? You don’t dabble with fitness or team cohesion at any point?

    1. Preseason I will use fitness, I’ve never used team cohesion. And during intense periods where they could be playing up to 3 games a week. I will add an extra rest day. The whole goal is to ensure individual workloads are never higher than heavy

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