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Hi,

So I'm a bit confused about General Training. Many of the guides I've read seem to indicate that General Training is solely about attribute development, with the exception of Team Cohesion. However, some videos and guides seem to imply that General Training can also influence matches.

The manual also implies that General Training can have short-term effects (emphasis mine):

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‘General Training’ allows you to set up a Main Focus and Intensity Level for how the team should work as a rule of thumb. Select one area for the team to generally work on, and determine how hard you want them to work at it. [...] Once you’ve set up your general approach, you can then delve into the more intricate details of the weekly approach. If you decide that a particular upcoming fixture requires special attention, then you can choose to alter the Focus for that week and override your default ‘General Training’ instructions.

In the General Training interface, the descriptions for each selection reference "abilities" and "skills", with only the Fitness option specifically calling out attributes. Also, being able to select a training focus on a week-by-week basis also implies to me that there are short-term effects - otherwise why would I want to change the focus for a particular time period?

So, while obviously certain focuses favour the development of certain attributes, is that development actually just a side-effect of focusing on a single area for an extended period of time? Will my team benefit from focusing on different areas at different points of the season?

Does using the Fitness focus during preseason accelerate my player's condition (not necessarily match sharpness)?

If it is actually the case that General Training is solely for focusing which player attributes will improve more than others, could the interface be improved for FM18 to make this more transparent to managers?

Thanks,
Orffen

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That's the match preparation. Rashidi just mentioned the impact in one of the threads below.

General Training is for the attribute development.

Fitness training only affects the fitness categories but not match sharpness. Match sharpness is increased through playing time (that's why you need to rotate).

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Welcome to the forum :).

There's only so much time during each week that players can train their abilities and prepare for the coming match.  The General Training screen aims to manage that time by allowing you to allocate this time between Training and Match Preparation.

If you allocate time to Training, that focuses (in FM terms) on improving your player attributes.  Exactly which attributes will be improved during each method of Training is mentioned in the FAQs sticky at the top of the forum: https://community.sigames.com/topic/374464-frequently-asked-questions/.  Note that players need at last 2 (better 3 or more) months of continuous Training in the same area to get the most benefit.  So changing it week to week can be a bad idea.

If, on the other hand, you allocate time to Match Preparation, that focuses on giving your players a slight boost to whichever area you pick for the next match only.  Be aware that it's a very short thing (next match only), and long term your players benefit much more from developing their attributes via Training.  Don't over do the Match Preparation would be my advice.

Now, that's all during the season.  Pre-season is different - that's about player match fitness, happiness and tactical familiarity.  Setting General Training heavily in favour of Match Preparation - Tactics is a good idea here as it helps your players gain tactical familiarity with your tactical system(s).

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Thanks guys. Rashidi's guides are some of the ones I reference on a regular basis :)

I'm clear that match sharpness is only improved by actually playing matches, and that Match Preparation is short-term boosts, I guess where I'm confused is that the manual explicitly states that for specific matches you may want to alter your General Training (not Match Preparation).

On top of that, the interface doesn't clearly indicate that General Training only affects attributes (actually the individual player position training screens communicate that fairly clearly), and even allows you to pick a specific General Training focus for a week before reverting back to your overall focus.

I know the common thinking is that switching up General Training focuses on a week-by-week basis isn't of any benefit - I'm just confused why the interface allows you to do that (and implicitly indicates you should consider altering both the focus and intensity week-by-week).

I'd like to test this out myself but I'm struggling to come up with a way to do that, given the multitude of variables that can influence the match engine for any specific match. I'm wondering how the AI approaches General Training week-to-week; maybe that could give me some insight?

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The manual was written a long time ago. If you want to get your side ready for a match then match prep is the way to go if you think you need it. However I do believe its not entirely necessary, though there may be times when  slight boost is handy. 

General training does affect attributes like the rest of the training, there were versions of the game, you aren't aware of that would show the attributes that were affected in the past. That is no longer the case, but the old guides still have them right.  The interface allows you to change the general training because it allows some managers to develop more Focused training programs. Those who want something different can go Balanced and then do specific individual focus training.

A bunch of us did 20 year tests with teams to verify these a while ago. If you want to do the same then take a club like Ajax with top facilities and coaches, make sure you win more games than you lose :-) set your training and then extract the information onto an excel sheet. You need to do it for 20 years though, and then repeat it a few times doing exactly the same thing to verify it. I did it 5 times. I just don't have the time to do it again, and will probably do one within my own Discord group as a test bed at some time, once I have a more varied group to do a more detailed soak test. The only problem is people need to be running a lot of leagues in full sim. That's the only way to ensure you don't get skewed results that can come from limited leagues loaded,

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Thanks Rashidi.

What would the 20 year tests show? I'd be interested in seeing what a week-by-week schedule might affect beyond attribute growth.

I was thinking of getting a team far enough into a season so there's a week with only a single game at the end of it, then setting minimum Match Preparation, picking a team and leaving it on Balanced and then playing through the game with no subs or changes to tactic, recording match stats. Rinse and repeat with the same week, same game (just reloaded) to build up a sample size of 10-20 per focus and see what shakes out.

Then again reloading the game would reseed the RNG I assume, so that will affect the match outcome. How would you minimise the impact of variables like that in your soak test?

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