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I am looking to rely a little bit more on homegrown players in my current save, as I've invested a lot in elite youth coaching and State-of-the-Art training facilities, however I'm not looking for a cut-and-paste training schedule or advice to just stick with the defaults, but instead want to craft my own.

I am attempting to build a high-pressing, attacking side (as mostly everyone is) from the youth level up, with many aspects of my Club DNA covered in the 'Transition-Press' schedule. It is implemented three times a week, as all of the attributes covered are considered core to my team and the type of player I need, so it is paramount that all of my youth players develop these attributes, at a young age. Furthermore, it equally focuses on the attacking and defensive units meaning that everyone gets focus on these core attributes. Below is the current skeleton of my training schedule but I don't need these filled in, just giving a little more context. 

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I have read the guides to training pinned on the forum and searched for prior threads, but I couldn't really find exactly what I was looking for. Because of this, I have some questions regarding how to best develop my youngsters into first team level players for my team or others, so that I can either blood them in the first team when they turn 18 or loan and eventually sell them on to be valuable players for other teams.

1. Rest: Youth players are said to need more rest than senior players, and because of this, my plan is to leave the two slots after Match Practice empty each week, as well as the slot after Match Review. Also, I leave the Auto intensity set to Normal when at full condition, rather than Double, which I use for the senior team. Is this sufficient rest, too much rest, or just right? 

2. Physical Training: When a player is under 18, their physicals develop naturally. However, if I added one, two, or even three Physical (or Endurance/Quickness) a week, would I see a greater level of physical growth, or is it just overkill?

3. Technical vs Mental Training: As it's well-documented that players develop their mental attributes as they get older and have more game-time, should I focus my youth sessions on technical improvement, as it doesn't improve naturally like physical attributes or with age and game-time like mental attributes?

4. General vs Specific: For example, if I wanted to emphasize my young players' technical abilities in possession, would it be ideal to use 4 general Possession sessions or a combination of 4 Play from the Back, Ball Retention, and Ball Distribution sessions? Also are Overall and Outfield sessions useful in any way at a youth level, or not focused enough for any serious results in terms of building a specific Club DNA?

5. Match Preparation: I know that youth team match results don't matter for youth development, but Attacking Movement and Defensive Shape sessions do train players attributes for their individual roles and focuses, which is something that can be easily tailored in order to mould a young player perfectly. However, as these are match preparation and not individual practice sessions, so it better to use specific training sessions for youth training than match preparation sessions?

6. Individual Training: These final questions generally tie in with 1, 2, and 3 but when planning a youth player's individual training, should I direct their individual focus on the technical or physical sides of their game, or target the weakest point of their game, even if it's a mental facet? Lastly, is an Individual Training Workload of Medium enough for good development or should they be on High?

Thanks for all of your help and I hope others with these questions can find some answers too!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm by no means an expert, but this is my take on training:

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1. Rest: Youth players are said to need more rest than senior players, and because of this, my plan is to leave the two slots after Match Practice empty each week, as well as the slot after Match Review. Also, I leave the Auto intensity set to Normal when at full condition, rather than Double, which I use for the senior team. Is this sufficient rest, too much rest, or just right? 

1. Too much rests, you can replace all those rests with a session of recovery every 3 days (1 out if 9 sessions in that 3 days is recovery). You can fill the rest of the sessions with training. For me rests are only required after they have gone through a match and i'll give them 1/2 days full of rest sessions to recover their condition

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2. Physical Training: When a player is under 18, their physicals develop naturally. However, if I added one, two, or even three Physical (or Endurance/Quickness) a week, would I see a greater level of physical growth, or is it just overkill?

2. it's not, but remember physical training is very intense and it might heavily affect their conditioning. If you want to include it make sure to keep the training intensity green OR if you want them to work hard (intensity color orange) then make sure you give them a recovery session afterwards. I don't recommend setting up a training day with red intensity though, the injury risk is too high

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3. Technical vs Mental Training: As it's well-documented that players develop their mental attributes as they get older and have more game-time, should I focus my youth sessions on technical improvement, as it doesn't improve naturally like physical attributes or with age and game-time like mental attributes?

3. I would only apply individual technical training if they are severely lacking on a crucial technical attribute, if not then i would stick to mental / physical training because although they can improve naturally the progress is much slower compared to technical attributes and also players in general have a good technical ability anyway so..yeah.

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4. General vs Specific: For example, if I wanted to emphasize my young players' technical abilities in possession, would it be ideal to use 4 general Possession sessions or a combination of 4 Play from the Back, Ball Retention, and Ball Distribution sessions? Also are Overall and Outfield sessions useful in any way at a youth level, or not focused enough for any serious results in terms of building a specific Club DNA?

4. If you want to purely improve their abilities, then i'll stick to the 2nd option (combination of 4 blablabla). If you want to also improve their tactical abilites then go with the first option.

4.5. Overall and Outfield sessions are a good way to improve tactical familiarity all at once, unless the youth is using the same tactic as the first team, use them only once in a while

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5. Match Preparation: I know that youth team match results don't matter for youth development, but Attacking Movement and Defensive Shape sessions do train players attributes for their individual roles and focuses, which is something that can be easily tailored in order to mould a young player perfectly. However, as these are match preparation and not individual practice sessions, so it better to use specific training sessions for youth training than match preparation sessions?

5. Although match preparations are mainly to improve player's tactical familiarity, i would recommend you to keep using it since it'll get the players more prepared thus increasing their chance to win the match, if they win often then their morale will be sky high and the outcome is they'll train better

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6. Individual Training: These final questions generally tie in with 1, 2, and 3 but when planning a youth player's individual training, should I direct their individual focus on the technical or physical sides of their game, or target the weakest point of their game, even if it's a mental facet? Lastly, is an Individual Training Workload of Medium enough for good development or should they be on High?

6. Whether it's technical/mental/physical, target their weakest highlighted attribute,

6.5 I would get the workload as high as possible because i tend to have a low intensity general training, i'll keep train that attribute until it stopped improving then switch to others

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