What Drives Player Development; A Few Factors You Probably Never Considered

When working on the Emulating La Masia series I stumbled across an old article by Shrewnaldo on tutoring. He also describes aspects I initially did not intend to cover with the whole La Masia series but I do feel are important for youth development. Since the article dates back to 2012 and some of the original research by Shrew and Maestro Ugo has been lost, I am looking to re-new their research efforts and see if my conclusions still match theirs.

After all, many of us enjoy a save in which we have a fair few home-grown heroes in our squads. There is nothing more satisfying than having a youngster come through the ranks of the academy and break into first team. To do so, we must turn a player’s Potential Ability (PA) into his Current Ability (CA). Which factors influence how well a player develops? According to many people, determination is what drives development. According to Shrewnaldo, it’s the hidden attributes professionalism and ambition. This article will focus on the impact of both determination and professionalism and how they can help you make the most of those precocious young stars.

The approach

In order to research the influence of these factors I created four equal newgens in an FM16 save with the help of FMRTE. All four have similar positions and age. All of their attributes, including hidden, are set to 10, except for one exception. In one scenario, the four players have different values for the Professionalism attribute (1, 8, 14 and 20). In the second scenario, the four players have different values for Determination attribute (1, 8, 14 and 20). I will holiday the save for half a season and see how the players have developed. I will note their development in four areas:

  1. Technical;
  2. Mental;
  3. Physical
  4. Current ability.

The professionalism scenario

Let’s start off by simply introducing the four newgens I have created. All four are identical except for their Professionalism attribute.

dev04 dev03 dev02 dev01

Six months into the game the players look like this.

dev08 dev07 dev06 dev05

When we add up the total points of progress pro area and check FMRTE to see how their development in CA has been shaped, we end up with the following numbers.

dev09

A more graphic display will show the results more clearly.

Player 1 = 1 professionalism Player 2 = 8 professionalism Player 3 = 14 professionalism Player 4 = 20 professionalism

Player 1 = 1 professionalism
Player 2 = 8 professionalism
Player 3 = 14 professionalism
Player 4 = 20 professionalism

The player with the highest professionalism has progressed the most across the board. The biggest progress in terms of CA, technical, mental and physical attributes. It would be safe to assume that professionalism definitely has a large influence in youth development. Whilst even the player with the lowest value for professionalism has shown some progress, his development pales in comparison to his compatriots with higher valued professionalism.

The determination scenario

Let’s start off by simply introducing the four newgens I have created. All four are identical except for their Determination attribute.

dev14 dev13 dev12 dev11

Six months into the game the players look like this.

dev18 dev17 dev16 dev15

When we add up the total points of progress pro area and check FMRTE to see how their development in CA has been shaped, we end up with the following numbers.

dev19

A more graphic display will show the results more clearly.

Player 1 = 1 determination Player 2 = 8 determination Player 3 = 14 determination Player 4 = 20 determination

Player 1 = 1 determination
Player 2 = 8 determination
Player 3 = 14 determination
Player 4 = 20 determination

This is the part where things start to look strange. You would expect the player with the highest determination to develop better than the others, but that’s not the case. The spread between the players is less noticeable. The worst player of the bunch has developped into a better player than his worst counterpart from the other group, but the best player from this group has developped far worse than his counterpart from the other group. Can we conclude anything from this second test? Not quite, except that the influence of determination is not quite as clear cut as some people would have you believe.

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