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360° Training system – the new secret weapon for coaching?

Small effort to gain plenty of information to support everyday training!

16 August 2023

Data analysts Topias Koukkula and Pietari Outinen analyse sports data in their work, but they also know how useful data can be for athletes and coaches. What opportunities does the 360° Training system developed by the Finnish Olympic Committee together with Tietoevry offer to coaching?

At the beginning of 2023, National Olympic Training Center Helsinki - Urhea and the Finnish Olympic Committee both decided to create new data analyst positions. Urhea hired Pietari Outinen, Master of Sport Sciences, and the Olympic Committee hired Topias Koukkula, who graduated as Master of Science in Statistics in the spring.

Both Outinen and Koukkula have backgrounds in athletics: Outinen’s main sport was the pole vault and Koukkula’s main sport is the triple jump. Outinen’s career as an athlete ended in 2021, but he has been involved in coaching since 2017. Koukkula, on the other hand, continues to compete alongside his work.

We asked Outinen and Koukkula about their experience with the 360° Training system as athletes, coaches and data analysts. The system was created as a result of several years of cooperation between the Finnish Olympic Committee and Tietoevry. It consists of an app for athletes and coaches as well as a service platform, which analysts, among others, can use for analysing data.

Small effort to gain plenty of information to support everyday training

Tietoevry’s goal has been to make the system as easy to use as possible for both the athlete and the coach. In Koukkula and Outinen’s opinion, the goal has been achieved.

“The athlete only needs a sports watch or a similar device. After linking the sports watch to 360° Training system, s/he only needs to remember to record his/her own training sessions and synchronise the device. It is not even necessary to fill in a training journal,” Koukkula says, describing the way he uses the system.

Koukkula acts as his own coach and uses the 360° Training system to analyse his training.

“The basic analytics view offers information about heart rate variability, the amount of sleep, and so on. These individual indicators provide a great deal of information about recovery. Information about recovery is important in any sports, as recovery has a great impact on performance.

Koukkula says it is important that the system offers accurate data from different sources at the individual level.

“The system shows both training and recovery data at a glance, and you can compare it to your own previous data instead of having to rely only on the reference values offered by the monitoring device or on your own feelings.”

Better coaching decisions with data

Outinen’s job at Urhea is to support the work of coaches in various sports with the help of data. He says the 360° Training system can benefit both the athlete and the coach in many ways.

“From the point of view of a coach, the greatest benefit is that you can see all the athlete information in one place and in real time. That helps you to make the right coaching decisions.”

“At a glance, the coach can see both the data provided by the device and the athlete’s own evaluation of their situation. This view provides the coach with a good set of information, helping them decide whether the athlete should train as planned for the day or whether the situation requires some changes to their programme.”

“Coaching is mainly based on the interaction between the coach and the athlete. When they both have the same data at their disposal, it makes this interaction easier, helping them focus on the right things. Data allows the coach to get to know the athletes better.”

“From the athlete’s point of view, data can help them get to know their own body better and teach them to recognise how it reacts to different stimuli,” Outinen says.

Systematic data collection for greater benefits

Outinen and Koukkula believe the 360° Training system has both immediate and long-term benefits.

“The immediate benefit can be seen in everyday work of both athlete and coach. Greater benefits can be reaped when data is collected systematically throughout the training season,” Outinen says.

“Different sports have different needs in terms of variables tracked throughout the season. Heart rate-based monitoring is more common in endurance sports, whereas many strength and power sports utilise various field tests and motor control exercises such as sprints, jumps and throws for assessing neuromuscular performance. With 360° Training you can monitor test result progression alongside heart rate data and the athletes’ own evaluations, making it a versatile tool for the needs of different sports disciplines.”

According to Koukkula, systematic monitoring data should be gathered for at least a year - to get the long-term benefit from using the system.

“When you have the data of the entire training season at your disposal, you can see quite well how the athlete has developed during the year. The long-term goal is that data could be used not only to analyse the current situation and the past better than before, but to also predict the future.”

Outinen believes that most coaches understand the significance of data in coaching.

“In everyday coaching, there might still be a threshold for coaches to overcome for them to look for new tools and learn new systems. Once we manage to lower that threshold, I am sure everyone will recognise the possibilities that the data brings.”

More users, more data

Tietoevry and the Olympic Committee see the 360° Training system as part of the wider data strategy of elite sports.

“The system is a result of several elite sports experts’ deep knowledge and long-term work over several years,” says Teemu Ekola, Head of Data-driven Applications at Tietoevry, responsible for developing the system.

“It has been great to be involved in developing a system which foremost helps coaches, but also athletes in their daily work. In the long term, the system also allows us to gather a vast information resource, which contributes to elite sports research. However, this requires more extensive and longer-term use of the system.”

“At the moment, many of the users are at Olympic Training Center Vuokatti-Ruka. At the Olympic Training Center Urhea, focusing on summer sports, the implementation of the system has also advanced at a quick pace during the summer of 2023.”

Developing the 360° Training system is important for Ekola and the entire Tietoevry team not only as a work task, but also for personal reasons.

“As a sports fan, it is very rewarding for me to get to use my own professional expertise to create a product like this, which serves a greater goal of helping top athletes achieve success in the world,” Ekola says.

Hero photo of the page: Finnish Athletics Federation

Further information on 360° Training

Top athletes and coaches in Finland are already using the 360° Training system. In Finland, the system is available for your sports federation and sports club: contact Juha Saapunki, Head of Digital Services at the Finnish Olympic Committee. 360° Training system is available also outside Finland, please contact Tietoevry’s Teemu Ekola in case of interest: Teemu Ekola

Read more at Tietoevry’s website

topias-koukkula.jpg Pietari Outinen 13.jpg Teemu_Ekola_TietoEVRY (2).jpg

Topias Koukkula
Data Analyst

Finnish Olympic Committee

Pietari Outinen
Data Analyst

National Olympic Training Center Helsinki - Urhea

Teemu Ekola
Head of Data-driven Applications



Contact us for more information!

Teemu Ekola

Head of Data-driven Applications

Read more top athletes experiences on 360° Training!

The Finnish Olympic Committee: Supporting elite sport coaching with data management

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