Police recruits undertake mandatory training programmes to prepare for conflict situations. To motivate recruits to engage in what is called “police training” (“Polizeitraining” or “Einsatztraining”) in Germany, police trainers should design activities that align with what the recruits want from training. As such, the current study investigated the wants and subjective training needs of police recruits by asking twenty-seven recruits of a German police force to identify positive and negative aspects of police training, as well as the characteristics of a competent police trainer. The qualitative data was analysed using content analysis. Higher order themes consisted of (a) the relevance of police training; (b) motivating aspects of police training; (c) negative aspects of police training; and (d) characteristics of a competent police trainer. Recruits expressed that police training is an important part of their education, which they perceived as relevant in preparing them for their duty and for upcoming performance tests. Prominent motivating aspects included the perception of competence and being challenged holistically. De-contextualized practice and static repetitions were demotivating factors. The police trainer is perceived to play a prominent role in learning and recruits want police trainers to (a) have sound knowledge of the taught content; (b) effectively deliver the training content; and (c) be mindful of individual differences. By offering insight into the wants and needs of recruits undertaking police training, the current study informs the practice of police trainers and trainer developers.