Despite evidence to the contrary being around since 2012 (thanks again Shrewnaldo and Maestro Ugo), there are still plenty of people who believe that players with high Determination and/or Work Rate attributes develop their current ability faster because they apply themselves better during training sessions somehow. After all, if someone is determined and works hard then surely they will reach their potential faster, won’t they? As you may have guessed, the title being a dead-on giveaway, this is not the case.
Just to re-iterate my point; the attributes Determination and Work Rate only apply within matches. These attributes contribute nothing at all to the development of a player during training sessions. The driving factor behind the development of youngster is the Professionalism attribute.
The theory behind it
The attributes Determination and Work Rate exclusively affect a players’ match performances, not his training performances. Determination indicates how long a player will give 100% during the match, whereas Work Rate decides how long and often a player is active during a match, how long and often he gets involved. A players’ performance in training is exclusively determined by his Professionalism attribute.
How I want to prove a point
In order to research the influence of these factors, I created twelve equal newgens in an FM17 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 batch of four, the four players have different values for the Professionalism attribute (1, 8, 14 and 20). In the second batch of four, the four players have different values for Determination attribute (1, 8, 14 and 20). In the third batch of four, the four players have different values for their Work Rate attribute (1, 8, 14 and 20).
In a previous research, I ended up with slightly flawed results. By using SI’s own in-game editor, I was able to access the recommended current ability function, which indicated that a player with every attribute set to 10 needed a matching current ability level of 64.
The idea is to run a holiday save for half a season. During this half season, the players will be kept uninjured and motivated by using FMRTE after each match. Their current ability will be too low for them to reach the first team, so this factor is effectively eliminated. After half a season, I will note their development in the following four areas:
- Current ability.
The initial results
After six months, extracting the relevant data was not that difficult. I started off with the batch of players with edited Professionalism. This group is the control batch. We should see a steeper ascent in development as the Professionalism attribute rises.
So far, the numbers show us the same. A player with low Professionalism will show some natural growth in attributes and current ability, but the more spectacular growth belongs to the players with a higher Professionalism attribute. For those of you who prefer a more graphic representation, please check out the radar chart below.
The next batch we need to look at is the Determination group. As mentioned earlier, the hypothesis is that it does absolutely nothing for the development. Since the Professionalism attribute for this batch it set to 10, we should see nearly identical progression or negligible differences.
The numbers do not quite match expectations. In terms of the improvement of attributes, there is definitely a case to be made for the ineffectiveness of Determination in the training ground. There is quite a difference in the growth of the current ability, however. This might be linked to the match performances of this batch. The players with higher Determination generally achieved average ratings than their counterparts.
Please observe that I used the phrase “might be linked”, as I am not 100% sure of this new hypothesis. At the time, I am also unsure on how to test this hypothesis in FM17. Any ideas, comments and suggestions are more than welcome. Again, for those of you who prefer a more graphic representation of the results, please check out the radar chart below.
The final batch we need to look at is the Work Rate group. As mentioned earlier, the hypothesis is that it does absolutely nothing for the development. Since the Professionalism attribute for this batch it set to 10, we should see a nearly identical progression or negligible differences.
Again, the numbers do not quite match expectations. The development of the current ability appears to be rather stable, whereas the other results are wildly fluctuating between decent growth and actual regression, with another player appearing almost stagnant. It makes no sense that the player with the lowest Work Rate developed the best. I have no idea what to make of this. Again, ideas, suggestions and comments are welcome. Again, for those of you who prefer a more graphic representation of the results, please check out the radar chart below.
Conclusion (sort of anyway)
I am afraid this article has yielded as many new questions as it has answers. I also realise that the amount of testing done is not nearly extensive enough to be conclusive, but the results so far can be considered indicative. Let’s just see what happens when we compare the top players from each batch.
It is quite clear that the player from the Professionalism batch is miles ahead of the others regarding his development. He has shown more growth in all areas, most notably the mental attributes and his current ability. The other two batches appear to have progressed somewhat similar, which makes sense as their Professionalism attributes were identical. The influence match performances could explain the differences between the other two batches have on the development.
Still, it is quite clear that the training-driven Professionalism attribute is the driving factor behind the development of players, whereas the other two attributes could have an influence through match-based development, which seems to be a minor element in this equation. Again, this makes sense. A player will partake in one, maybe two matches a week, but many more training sessions.