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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19 thoughts on “What Drives Player Development; A Few Factors You Probably Never Considered

  1. A fascinating experiment, great work. However, this might prove professionalism is key to development, but given that its a hidden stat there isn’t a lot we can do about it. Or is there? maybe I am forgetting something. Its good to know determination is that big a factor though.

    Like

    • To say that the results of the WorkTheSpace project is seriously flawed is an enormous understatement.

      There is so much wrong with the content of this series of video’s that I don’t even know where to start.

      I find it quite frustrating that thousands of people, (the 1st video has 15k+ views), have watched this video, and by the looks of the comments, a lot of them just blindly believe that what he says is true, for seemingly no other reason than because he said it on a Youtube Video, (so it must be true).

      This blog on the other hand…. delivers the results without trying to show-horn them into pre-conceived ideas and then asks you to draw your own conclusions.

      Excellent stuff.

      Like

      • I honestly still haven’t watched the video (mostly because I was playing and simulating), so I won’t comment on it.

        As for the results of my own work, since they raise more questions than actually answering them, I feel compelled to dig deeper and do even more research. Hard to draw any conclusions when you don’t have the facts and when your pre-conceived ideas are proven wrong.

        Like

  2. You’re on a roll! Usualy this time of the year the blogs are silent, but you (and a few more) keep producing quality content.

    You only play the full game right?

    Like

  3. […] As we have seen in earlier work, the absolute driving force behind youth development is the hidden attribute Professionalism. Having a player tutored is the only way to raise a youngsters Professionalism rating as this is the only way to actually influence this hidden attribute. In a way, this makes selecting the right tutor for your special youngsters extremely important if you wish to maximise their development. I will refer you to the graphic from one of the earlier articles. […]

    Like

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