S01|E02: Lifting The Latics | Training Special

Season One|Episode Two

Welcome back to the Lifting The Latics series.. In the previous post we discussed our summer transfer ins and outs, tactics thoughts for the first season and a small results overview for Pre-Season and August.

This post – as the title suggests – will be focusing on training only. This will include mentoring, sessions, units, individual and coaching.


Before we continue I just want to make it clear that the following is my way of training. This is in no way the way it should be done or the correct way of training. It is just the way that I have found that works for me. I may be completely wrong and my explanations for the way I do so may be inaccurate or make zero sense. But it work for ME. Please keep in mind that this style may not work for you.


Overview

Beginning with a small overview of our current session schedule for the week, training happiness and performance, match preparation and training session breakdown.


Mentoring

With the Mentoring system replacing the Tutoring of older version we have to look at the training of youth from a completely different perspective. You can no longer have just one quality player looking after your new wonderkid and turning him into a world beater before he’s turned 20. Each new mentoring group requires a minimum of three players for them to begin working together. They game will take into account numerous different factors as you attempt to develop your players and they will now take much longer to reach full potential.

When trying to influence the players the game looks at the following things;

Age of the potential influenced player
Career first team appearances of the potential influenced player
Difference in the club hierarchy between the two players
Social group standing between the two players (i.e how compatible they are)

@Cleon81 – Tea & Busquets.

I have created 4 separate mentoring groups. One for each of Goalkeepers, Defenders, Midfielders and Attackers. My initial thought was to keep each group with players of the correct position. That thought did not last long as well finalising each group I realised I still had a Team Leader in Rob Hunt left over and not attached to any of the them. I placed hunt into the Goalkeeping group as he will have a lot more influence over the younger players than George Legg. 

I am fortunate enough to have three Team Leaders at the club in Rob Hunt, Peter Clarke and Jose Baxter as well as Gevaro Nepomuceno and Cameron Dummigan as Highly Influential Players. This has helped in being able to set-up enough groups as to not needing to overload each group to achieve results. The Team Leaders themselves are estimated to have a significant influence over their respective groups and being able to split eleven players over these three groups should give us a huge advantage.

As quoted above, when trying to influence the player the game looks as the following things;

  • Age of the potential influenced player
  • Career first team appearances of the potential influenced player
  • Difference in the club hierarchy between the two players
  • Social group standing between the two players (i.e how compatible they are).

In line with the four factors outlined here I have attempted to balance each of our mentoring groups dependant on the age gap between the senior member of each respective group and the other alongside him as well as attempting to pair every member of the “Other” hierarchy with at least one Team Leader or Highly Influential Player. I have gone a little different with social group standing however, as I have decided to mix and match each mentoring group. I attempted to add at least two of each social group to each mentoring group but also mix with other social group in the hope that every play will eventually be part of the Core Social Group. At the moment, due to many of the players being new to the team, we are split across four social groups as shown.


Sessions

Due to the nature of the save where we are almost always going to be predicted to be in or around the relegation zone, I felt it necessary to base the majority of our training around the tactical part of our game. I believe that if we can become much more adept with our tactics and actually know how we want to play then we would be more likely to achieve the results we so crave. 

As part of our monthly routine I ensure 3 weeks of that is focused on our tactical identity. This included a week of each of our two standard tactics – currently Controlled Possession and Fluid Counter-Attack – and a further week of a tactical training style. The rest of the month focuses on one week of balanced training and one week of technical training. 

One area of training that I ensure I have scheduled after every single game we play is a Match Review. I first came across this training aspect whilst watching Teach’s Twitch stream. (Twitter: @OfficiallyTeach). I feel the Match Review should be essential to anyone’s training schemes as it has zero risk attached to it. As the game describes; the Match Review is a sessions dedicated to analytically reviewing the previous match. It has a positive impact on Mentality, Passing Style, Creative Freedom, Pressing Intensity, Marking, Tempo, Width and Position/Role/Duty as well as increased Team Cohesion.

At this point I am still unsure of what the Schedules tab actually does or helps with as I have not noticed any change anywhere across our training from them. I generally use the Schedules tab to give me an idea of how my weeks training scheme should look based up how many matches in that particular week – none, one or two – and what I am planning on training that week. For example the below image shows me a training scheme focuses on Fluid Counter-Attack tactical style where I have two matches that week. I have purposely manually added Match Review into the schedule because as I stated I believe this should be an essential part of any training scheme.


Units

I have set-up each player to be training the particular position and role that they would play in our formation. As such as moved players between the Defensive Unit and Attacking Unit based upon this. For example our Right Backs operate alone down the right hand side as we do not have a decent Right Winger. They more often that not play as Complete Wing Backs on Attack as I expect them to be bombing up and down the flank as often as possible. Due to this I want them to be doing the job of both a Full Back and a Winger. As such, I have placed both Cameron Dummigan and Rob Hunt into the Attacking Unit to help them play more like Wingers.

As the training units impact what each player trains in a training schedule for that day you need to be careful which players are placed into each of the units to fully maximise their training potential. In example as part of my balanced training style week have one session where we are training Attacking Shadow Play. This splits each unit into a particular focus. The primary focus is obviously on the Attacking Unit. This splits the Attacking Unit to specify work on the tactical and mental side of the attacking phase and splits to positional units. The secondary focus is on the Defensive Unit who defends against the Attacking Unit and the tertiary focus is on the Goalkeeping Unit who will work to prevent goals during this session. This particular session boosts the attributes for teamwork for all three units as well as tactical familiarity and increasing team cohesion.


Individual Focus

Individual Focus Training can be used to assign a position, role or duty to a player to be trained to help develop specific attributes as well as assigning additional individual training to change the intensity a player is training at. Each player can be assigning an additional focus to train a specific set of attributes as shown in the graphic below courtesy of @Cleon81 – Tea & Busquets.

Courtesy of @Cleon81 – Tea & Busquets

My example of this is a new striker to the team – Ashley Nadesan – who according to my assistant has performed okay in training lately and has shown an improvement in his game. Nadesan is currently on an additional focus of Agility and Balance which as it suggest is training and improving Nadesan’s agility and balance as well as further training of a player trait with Likes To Beat The Offside Trap. Nadesan is also training even further with a position, role and duty training of Advanced Forward (Attack). This is not his most natural role and duty however it is what we implement in both of our tactics so make sense for him to be able to play this.

Another aspect of individual training is the ability to automate the intensity of a players’ training levels based on their current physical state. This can be achieved in the Rest tab of the training menu. This can help with a players’ recuperation from a previous match or when slowly returning to fitness through an injury. For myself, anyone with a condition of under 59% is set to automatically do no pitch or gym work. Anyone with 60%-79% condition is set to half intensity. This way they are still training the most important sessions but are resting where necessary. Lastly anyone with 80%+ condition is set to normal intensity and taking part in all aspects of training. Also in this section is a physio recommendation for intensity levels which can be helpful if you are unsure whether to change up or not.


Coaching

As mentioned in the save reveal; we will attempt to build the best possible coaching setup we possibly can. At the moment, our progress with his has been stunted due to wage demands and reputation of the club. We have not been able to attract the calibre of coach I would normally like to the club and when a coach is interested in join we are unable to match their wage demands. Due to this, I have only taken on coaches with a 12 month contract as this will make it a lot cheaper to chop and change the setup each season as we build the quality of the coaches.

I say this, however our current coaching setup is not actually too bad. We are achieving three stars in every area other than Goalkeeping Shot Stopping which is at two and a half star. Our acquisition of Tony Colbert as Fitness Coach as been revolutionary for the club as we are now at three and a half star in both fitness categories whilst only using up one coaching slot.

Our current coaching setup consists of one assistant manager, two coaches, one fitness coach and one goalkeeping coach with no possibility (yet) of being able to expand this as the board as play hard ball with finances. As such we currently have at least most coaches – including under 23 staff – split across various categories.


Special thanks – as already referenced many times – goes out to @Cleon81 without who’s article I would not have been able to devise my own training systems let alone write about.

The next post will be back the business with a full first season update.


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