Isn't it just soul-crushing when you've got your heart set on a promising young footballer turning into the next big thing, and then their determination rating starts to nosedive? Just like a falcon that's been punched in the gut, they plunge from a score of 18 to a measly 11 in the span of a season. You're left wondering if you've been duped by a football doppelganger. But don't despair just yet, folks! We're going to dive headfirst into the murky waters of why determination tends to drop in football management and, more importantly, how to nip that in the bud.

Unraveling the Mystery: Why Determination Takes a Hit

Determination in football management is a bit like a ship in choppy waters; various factors can steer it off course. Here are some of the key culprits:

  • The Squad's Personality: If you're wondering what the squad's personality is, think of it as the average of all the individual personalities in your team. If your player is a young bloke under 24 and his personality is brighter than the squad's, then sadly, his determination will start to sink to match the squad's level. On the flip side, if his personality is more of a damp squib compared to the squad, then it's good news. His determination and personality will get a healthy boost to match that of the squad.
  • The Mentoring Group: Here's another twist in the tale. If our promising young player is in a mentoring group with influential players who have a personality and determination score that's nothing to write home about, then our player's scores will also start to slip. It's a bit like the blind leading the blind. So, if your young gun has a better personality than these so-called influential players, you're better off steering clear of tutoring altogether.
  • The Social Group Effect: This is a tough one to tackle, as the formation of social groups is out of your control. If our young player is in the same social group as an influential player, the effect can swing either way. The player's personality can either go up or down, depending on who's got the better personality.
  • A Fat Contract: Handing out a massive contract to a young player can lead to a strange phenomenon. Suddenly, the player thinks he's hit the jackpot and has achieved all his life goals. What follows is a drop in ambition and determination, along with some late-night clubbing and skipping training sessions. It's a bit like handing a teenager a million quid and expecting them to invest it wisely.
  • Random Drops in Determination: This one's like a bolt out of the blue. The player's determination can plunge overnight due to some mysterious off-field events. You can't really do anything about this, except brace for the impact.

The Importance of Determination in Football Manager

Now, why is determination such a big deal in football manager? Determination, along with ambition and professionalism, is the Holy Trinity of attributes in the game. During a match, determination is the fuel that drives your team to fight back when they're a goal down. In training sessions, determination is the key to shaping up your players in the right way. In fact, when you're picking a captain, you should opt for players with high leadership and determination scores. The players usually rally around their leader, so if the captain isn't rattled by conceding a goal, the rest of the team will also hold their ground.

Boosting Determination: The Road to Redemption

So how do you stop the determination of your players from going down the drain? The following strategies can come in handy:

  • Mentoring Groups: Place the youngsters in mentoring groups where the mentors are clearly superior in terms of personality and determination. It's like learning to swim from an Olympic champion instead of your Uncle Dave who can barely float.
  • Selective Signing: Avoid signing players with poor personalities like the plague. Having players with shining personalities will raise the squad's overall personality. Consequently, the young ones will naturally gravitate towards a personality that's beneficial for their growth.
  • Disciplinary Measures: If a player's performance rating dips to 6.4, it's time for a stern warning about their lackluster performance. If it hits 6.3 or lower, you can fine them half a week’s wages. Be careful though, as this may backfire if the player takes offense. But if they respond well, their determination or work rate attributes, or sometimes both, might see a hike.

Don't expect a miracle though, like a leap of 10+ in determination, especially in the newer versions of Football Manager. A boost of 4-6 is a decent win in my book. But hey, you could definitely hit higher scores if you start the mentoring process early and with the right mentors.

So, there you have it, folks! Keep these tips in mind, and you might just be able to stop the determination of your players from plummeting like a stone. Remember, in the unpredictable world of football management, it's all about riding the waves of challenge with a spirit of determination. Stay determined, and your team will follow suit!

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