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Adam Thielen, Ryan Englebert Elevate Sports Training With ETS Performance

Adam Thielen, Ryan Englebert Elevate Sports Training With ETS Performance

Thielen is among several NFL players to link up with ETS, which trains youth, college and professional athletes for sports and also life

Pro Bowl wide receiver Adam Thielen is no stranger to the importance of proper training. As the Carolina Panther gears up for his 12th season in the NFL, Thielen is also spending his time giving back to the next generation.

Thielen partnered with ETS Performance, a fast-growing gym chain that trains youth, high school, collegiate, professional and Olympic athletes worldwide.

Founded in 2010 by Ryan Englebert, ETS (which stands for Englebert Training Systems) has produced over 2,500 college athletes and 200 professionals among the more than 50,000 athletes it’s trained from different sports. ETS has 35-plus locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska. It also offers programs at schools throughout the Midwest. 

Thielen told Athletech News he credits ETS for playing a crucial role in his development as an athlete, including his prep for the 2013 NFL Draft.

“Ryan and I met when I was first trying to make it into the NFL,” Thielen shares. “I just graduated college and was trying to find a place that could help me become the best athlete I could be. After a few years of training and seeing the results, we decided to open our first location together. We saw what it could bring to the community and athletes, not just for their sport but also in their personal lives.” 

The Origins of ETS

Englebert founded ETS in 2010 after his road to recovery from a car accident changed his perspective both on sports performance training and overcoming adversity.

“In 2003, I was involved in a life-changing car accident where I was told I would likely never walk again, and definitely not get back to playing football,” Englebert tells Athletech News. “I learned so much about myself through that process. Having the next level training philosophy and methodology helped me not just get back to walking and moving but getting back to playing and then eventually being in a training camp.”

“The experience really molded me into a much different person: someone who wants to give back,” he adds.

Inside the Program

Athletes using ETS Performance start with an evaluation that includes coaches understanding their physical and personal goals. Athletes can participate in training systems ranging from “Speed Plus” for ages 8-11, which focuses on speed and bodyweight strength, to “Elite Speed” for ages 12-plus, which incorporates speed, sport-specific conditioning, mobility and nutritional guidance.

credit: ETS Performance

ETS Performance also offers training specifically for teams and professionals, which is available onsite and offsite for in-season and off-season athletes. The organization has also created female-focused training programs. 

One of the biggest lessons instilled in athletes at ETS is consistency.

“We expect our athletes to put their weights away, to be on time and do the little things right,” Englebert says. “That translates into habits that they can bring outside of the gym. Our training environment is electric and uplifting.” 

credit: ETS Performance

Although programming is tailored to athletes’ individual goals, ETS Performance also focuses on general strength and resilience.

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“I think ‘sport-specific’ is such a misconstrued term,” Thielen says. “We want to help athletes become faster, stronger and less prone to injuries. The systems we’ve created have been done through years of knowledge, study and trial and error. Once our athletes get a little older, they can tailor that into a more sport-specific routine and specialize.”

“Part of the reason I feel so passionate about ETS is that I didn’t have these opportunities as a kid,” Thielen adds. “The weight room wasn’t as big of a deal as it should have been.”  

NFL Players Make a Difference

Other current or former NFL Players who’ve partnered with ETS Performance include Kirk Cousins, CJ Ham and Ryan Carter, among others. Harrison Phillips, a defensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings, recently partnered with ETS to open a facility in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.

The organization focuses on partnering with athletes who believe in the training system based on personal experience and have faith-based missions.

“Our ownership group is faith-driven,” Thielen says. “We aim to impact as many youth as possible, leading with our faith and values. It’s not about making money or growing fast; it’s about making a meaningful impact.”

Although ETS Performance takes training seriously, the organization also recognizes that not all youth athletes become professional athletes.

“It’s not just about sports,” Thielen notes. “The confidence these kids gain from training translates to their personal lives. Parents have told us their kids are excelling in school and taking more responsibility at home. This holistic development is what makes ETS unique.”

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