Team talks are used to manage the mental state of your players before, during and after each match and they therefore have a significant effect on your team's match performances. Although your tactics are the most important factor in determining match performances, good team talks can often make a crucial difference to a match result.
You can give a team talk before the match, at half-time and at full-time. As well as giving an overall team talk to your team as a whole, you can also give individual talks to particular players if you wish.
The pre-match team talk affects whether your players start the game with the right attitude and therefore influences their first half performances. The half-time team talk affects whether your players continue or improve upon their performances in the second half and so can be greatly effective in helping your team to turn a match around or hold on to a lead. The full-time team talk can be used to praise your players or remind them that they need to stay focused after a good performance, or to let them know that they have failed to meet expectations after a poor performance.
You should try not to use the same team talks constantly, but instead adapt your talks to the scenario by considering various influencing factors. This way the effect of your team talks will be less likely to diminish later in the season. The various factors that you should consider when choosing team talks are discussed below.
1. Using the Team Talk Interface
You will be taken to the Team Talk screen automatically before each kick-off and after the match, while you can also access it from the match day Tactics tab if you have not yet given your team talk.
You can then select your overall team talk using the Give Overall Team Talk drop-down.
After the overall team talk has been given you can select an individual talk for any players you choose using the drop-downs in the Make a Comment column. There are also drop-downs for Defenders, Midfielders and Strikers that allow you to give positional talks. These effectively give all players in the relevant area of the pitch the same individual talk. If you want to exclude a player from a positional talk then you can give him his own individual talk first.
1.1. Using Your Coaches
If you wish then you can view team talk advice from any one of your coaches using the Advice From drop-down, and even ask that coach to give the team talk himself if you prefer by using the button on the right.
A coach's Motivating attribute determines the quality of his team talks and team talk advice. Therefore, if you wish to use a coach to advise on or give team talks then you should check which coach has the highest rating in this attribute.
Alternatively, you can instruct your assistant manager to give team talks automatically for each match, as explained in the Staff Roles guide.
2. Choosing Tones
When giving a team talk you will need to first select the tone of voice you wish to use.
Your chosen tone should be appropriate for the effect you want your talk to have. For example, you can use a calm tone if you want to relax players, a passionate tone if you want to increase morale or inspire players, an assertive tone if you want to demand a good performance or that your players sustain their performance level, and an aggressive tone if you want to convey your anger at a poor performance and fire your players up.
A calm tone can also be useful if you want your talk to be more understated. For example, if your team has won a match but only played relatively ok then you may want to praise them calmly.
As with the actual talks that you choose, you should ensure that you vary your choice of tone so that your team talks do not lose their effect. However, again this should come naturally if you adapt your talks to the scenarios that you face.
3. Choosing Team Talks
Various factors affect what team talks are appropriate for you to give in different scenarios. The main factors are discussed below. For each factor advice is given on what types of team talk you may want to give in the general scenarios related to the factor. However, ultimately you will have to use your own judgement to decide which team talk to use in any given scenario.
Examples of team talks, classified by type, are given in the Types of Team Talk guide.
You will find that the different factors have similar or contrasting influences on which types of team talk are appropriate at any one time and you will have to consider the combined effect of these influences. To help you to do this you may want to think of the different types of team talk referred to in this guide as being ordered on the following scale:
Encouraging / Inspirational
In addition, the following types can be thought of as being separate to this scale as they are only used in particular circumstances:
Continue Performing, Expect Improvement and Calming
The external expectations and your own expectations regarding the result that your team should achieve.
The best indicator of the external expectations is the match odds. You can use these to help you choose appropriate pre-match talks, which effectively then set your own expectations.
If your team is the clear favourite then you may want to be more demanding.
If a fairly close match is expected then you may want to be more encouraging or inspirational.
If your team is the clear underdog then you may want to be more sympathetic, or even relaxing.
Match odds can be seen on the Senior Fixtures tab of the Schedule screen before a match and on the Match Analysis section of the match day Preview tab.You may also want to take into account whether your team is playing at home or away. However, home team bias is factored in to the match odds.
The performance of your team relative to your own expectations, and the performances of individual players relative to the performance of your team as a whole.
For your half-time and full-time talks you should consider your team's performance when giving overall team talks and and the performances of individual players when giving individual talks.
If your team has performed relatively poorly then you may want to be more critical or demanding.
If your team has performed relatively ok then you may want to be more encouraging or inspirational at half-time, and perhaps more demanding, sympathetic or praising but with a calm tone at full-time.
If your team performed relatively well then you may want to be more sympathetic or praising.
However, you may want to give a demanding talk if your team has performed relatively well but recent form has been inconsistent, by questioning why your team cannot play so well more often. This is only advisable if other conditions are appropriate for a demanding talk, as outlined below.
For individual players who have performed relatively well it is advisable to give more sympathetic or praising talks.
For individual players who have performed relatively poorly it is advisable to give more critical or demanding talks.
Appropriate praise and criticism at full-time can help you to build good relationships with your players, keep them focused for the next match and raise their morale.
For both your team and for individual players, if you gave a relaxing pre-match talk then you should be more lenient and so you may want to be more sympathetic or praising for a relatively ok performance and more relaxing for a relatively poor performance.
Your players' performances are represented by their match ratings. To assess your team's performance you should therefore consider the general range that most of your player's ratings fall in. For example, if ratings are mostly in or near the range 6.7 to 7.1 then you could consider your team's performance to be fairly average. This might be relatively impressive if a difficult match was expected or relatively unimpressive if an easy match was expected. For individual players, you should assess their performance relative to your team's peformance. For example, if a player achieved a rating of 7.6 when most ratings were in or near the range 6.7 to 7.1 then his performance could be considered to be relatively good.
3.3. Match Importance
The importance of the match to your club and to the fans.
More important matches include knock-out matches in cup competitions and matches against rival clubs, including local rivals, historic rivals, competitive rivals, and current competitive rivals that are competing against your club in a title or relegation battle. You should consider the importance of the match when giving your overall team talks.
For a more important match you may want to be inspirational by reminding your players of your club's fans.
Against an opposition team which your team previously suffered a disappointing result against you may have the chance to give an inspirational talk that asks your players to try to get revenge.
You can view your club's rivalries on the General tab of the Club screen.
The average morale of all players in your line-up (general morale) and the morale of individual players.
You should consider general morale when giving overall team talks and the morale of individual players when giving individual talks.
If morale is high then you can afford to be more critical or demanding.
If morale is ok then you may want to be more encouraging or inspirational at half-time, and perhaps more demanding, sympathetic or praising at full-time.
If morale is low then may need to be more sympathetic, relaxing or praising.
3.5. Body Language
The body language of multiple players in your line-up (general body language) and the body language of individual players.
You should consider any information you have on general body language when giving overall team talks and the body language of individual players when giving individual talks.
Players who are complacent will need to be given more critical or demanding talks to motivate them to focus.
Players who are nervous will need more sympathetic, relaxing or praising talks.
Players who display frustrated or aggressive body language during a match may be able to be given calming talks to calm them down.
Players who become disenchanted during a match can benefit from being given encouraging talks.
You should be wary of giving more praising talks to players who look confident. Instead, you may want to give them more demanding talks to try to prevent them from becoming complacent.
Similarly, if your team has been in good form recently, you have been giving a lot of praising talks or if you are giving your full-time talk following a win where your team only performed relatively ok, then you may want to try to anticipate possible complacency with more demanding talks.
Information on body language is sometimes available on the Pre-Match panel of your Assistant's Feedback, accessed from the match day Analysis tab at any point before or during a match. You can also view body language details on the Team Talk screen at half-time or full-time, or at any time when watching the match on your team’s Body Language widget, accessed from the widgets button at the bottom right of the Full Pitch screen. In addition, you may want to consider information that you gained on players' body language in previous matches. For example, you may know that a particular player tends to get complacent quickly or has been complacent in recent matches.
Assistant's Pre-Match Feedback
It is not possible to view the body language of your player's on the Team Talk screen before kick-off. However, in his pre-match feedback your assistant manager may mention that individual players or your players in general look like they are:
Unfocused due to over-confidence - this suggests that they are complacent.
Unfocused because they are looking ahead to future matches - this suggests that they are not taking the current match seriously and are therefore complacent.
Unfocused due to other issues - this suggests that there are issues that you need to deal with outside of the match, but can be treated similarly to complacency.
Struggling to cope with pressure - this suggests that they are nervous.
Struggling to find motivation to play for a manager with a low reputation - this cannot be dealt with by team talks and is discussed below.
In addition, your assistant may make other observations that do not affect the mental state of your players and so are unrelated to team talks. For example, he may mention that individual players or your players in general look like they are:
- Exhausted from jetlag - this is due to travelling before the match. It is advisable to consider resting players from a match if they have recently travelled back from international duty.
- Having problems communicating due to the language barrier - this is because your players need to learn a common language. Your foreign players should learn the local language over time.
The languages spoken by a player can be seen by selecting Nationalities on the Information section of his Overview tab.
Any personality traits shared by multiple players in your line-up and the personalities of individual players.
You should consider the personalities of individual players when giving individual talks. If you know that multiple players share similar personalities then you can consider this when giving your overall team talks.
If a player has generally high ratings in Determination, Pressure, Professionalism and Temperament then you can afford to be more critical or demanding.
If a player has generally low ratings in these attributes then you may need to be more sympathetic, relaxing or praising.
If a player has a low rating in Temperament then you are more likely to need to give him a calming talk.
The effects of each of the personality attributes are discussed in more detail in the Player Personalities guide.
Over time it is likely that you will establish what team talks work best for your players in different scenarios. However, it is good practise to make notes on how individual players react to certain talks so that these can be used or avoided in the future as appropriate.
As well as observing a player's reaction immediately after you give a talk, you can view a description of how he reacted on your assistant’s Team Talk Feedback report. You should particularly look for any effects on a player's motivation, focus and confidence. Effects on happiness are less significant but making players happy with your team talks can help you to improve your relationships with them, as discussed below.
Your club's squad personality, as discussed in the Player Personalities guide, can indicate a commonly shared personality attribute. Building a squad of players with similar personalities can make giving team talks far easier, as your players will tend to react to your overall team talks in similar ways.
You can create a note for a player on the Notes section of his History tab by clicking Create Note.
Your assistant's Team Talk Feedback report can be accessed either from the Last Match section of the Analysis tab of the Tactics screen or from your assistant’s Reports tab.
3.7. Offering Support
Any background reasons why an individual player may need more support.
There are a few particular scenarios where it is advisable to give a player more encouraging, sympathetic, relaxing or praising individual talks, in addition to the general scenarios discussed above. For example, this can be the case if a player is:
- returning after a long term injury,
- a striker on a goal drought,
- a young, inexperienced player, or
- a new player making one of his first appearances for your team.
3.8. Previous Performance
How well your team performed in the previous match and how well individual players performed in the previous match.
You should consider the previous performance of your team when giving your pre-match overall team talk and the previous performance of individual players when giving pre-match individual talks and individual talks to substitutes.
If the previous performance was good, and there is no particular reason to give a demanding, inspiring, encouraging or relaxing talk, then you may want to tell your player or players to continue performing.
If the previous performance was poor, and there is no particular reason to give a demanding, inspiring, encouraging or relaxing talk, then you may want to tell your player or players that you expect improvement.
You do not need to check the previous performance of your team or of each individual player as these talks are only available to select when relevant. Therefore, you can simply check to see whether the talks are available.
3.9. Player Reactions
The reactions of your players to your overall team talk.
If a player reacts badly to your overall team talk then you may want to give him an appropriate individual talk to try to gain a more positive reaction.
If a player loses motivation or focus then you may want to give him a more critical or demanding talk.
If a player becomes stressed then you may want to give him a more encouraging, sympathetic or relaxing talk.
If a player has lost confidence then you may want to give him a more encouraging, sympathetic or praising talk.
On the other hand, if a player has reacted well to your overall team talk, such as by becoming motivated, gaining focus or becoming relaxed (where desired), then you may only want to give him an individual talk if you are confident that it will get a positive reaction.
Each player’s reaction, if any, to both the overall and individual talks will be displayed in the Reaction column after the talk is given. Green and red highlights are used when a player's morale has increased or decreased respectively. However, unless you are specifically trying to raise morale, these colours do not necessarily indicate that a player has reacted favourably or unfavourably.
3.10. Your Status
Your manager reputation and your relationships with your players.
Your status does not affect the team talks that are appropriate for you to give but it does affect how likely you are to get positive reactions from your players.
If your reputation is low relative to the club you are managing and if you have not built up good relationships with your players then you are less likely to consistently get positive reactions when giving team talks.
Over time you can increase your reputation by achieving success on the pitch, while you can improve your relationships with your players, as well as their morale, by using good man management, as discussed in the Player Morale and Relationships guide. In particular, good management involves praising and criticising performances appropriately, as discussed above for Expectations.
Your own Motivating attribute also affects how likely you are to get good reactions from your players in team talks, as explained in the Manager guide.