Outlook Magazine - Fall 2023


In fall 2003, Ryan suffered a hip fracture, dis located pelvis, broken ribs, knee damage and other injuries from a car accident when another driver crossed the center line. His doctor said he wouldn’t play football again and may not walk or walk normally again. “It’s how you handle adversity, learning what you’re capable of that determines where you go in life,” Ryan said. Determined, he lived and worked out for six months with his brother, Cory, an innovative trainer. “Without him, there’s no way I would have gotten back to playing. It was next-level stuff,” Ryan said. Against long odds, Ryan returned to the Blue Devils the very next fall, only to miss about half of the season with a broken ankle. Then, he missed the 2005 season with a knee injury. Finally, in 2006, it all came together his senior season. After college, Heidi worked in marketing and Ryan with Cory doing performance training. Then, Ryan and Heidi went all in again — like in their Blue Devil days — opening their first ETS facility in 2010 in Woodbury. “We saved every cent we had and put it all into the business. We had no choice but to be successful,” Ryan said. Having done their market research, they knew the Twin Cities east metro area was big into sports but had few performance facilities. They started with fewer than 20 athletes and had 200 within seven months, simply through flyers and athlete referrals. “We knew we had something,” Ryan said. “We developed a culture and atmo sphere that’s contagious.” They developed unique training methods based on extensive research. The focus is on strength, speed, acceleration, deceleration, agility, disci pline and high-energy motivation. Each athlete, depending on age (as young as 8), sport and goals, receives customized training to help max imize their potential. The facilities are modest in size, 5,000 square feet or less, and the train One athlete in particular helped boost ETS — Adam Thielen. When he finished his Mankato (Minn.) State career and had NFL aspirations, he traveled four times a week to Woodbury to train under Ryan, who became one of his best friends. Thielen was an undrafted free agent in 2013 but then signed with the Minnesota Vikings and became an All-Pro wide receiver over the past decade. A believer in ETS, Thielen and his wife, Caitlin, have become ETS minority owners. er-to-athlete ratio is low. Professional connections

Their UW-Stout education had “a huge role” in helping them successfully start and run their business, Heidi said. Two former UW-Stout athletes, Michael Blizel and Trevor Morning, are ETS employees, and an intern this past summer was a UW-Stout student majoring in video production. The Engleberts have three children, 7, 10 and 13, and live in western Wisconsin about 25 minutes from ETS headquarters in Woodbury.

(Left) Alyssa Ustby, a University of North Carolina basketball player, trains at ETS. (Below) Along with the Engleberts, left, the ETS leadership team includes, from left, facility partners and pro athletes CJ Ham, Kirk Cousins and Adam Thielen; CEO Jed Schmidt and CFO Chad Stiernagle.

The Engleberts, with Ryan focusing on the train ing and expansion and Heidi overseeing market ing, finances and more, opened a second facility in 2016 in nearby Lakeville, Minn., and a third and fourth in 2017 in Menomonie and Holland, Mich. During COVID, ETS grew as athletes used down time to get stronger and faster. ETS has trained more than 2,500 college athletes, 200 professionals and Olympians — such as Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher J.P. Feyereisen, Minne sota Vikings fullback CJ Ham, New York Giants center J.C. Hasenauer, Pittsburgh Penguins All Star Jake Guentzel — and 50,000-plus youths. They’ve pushed to break the stigma of strength training for girls and women and are approach ing 50% female clients. ETS has five owners but partners with current and former pro-athletes at various locations.

They include Kirk Cousins, Marcus Sherels, Chad Greenway and C.J. Ham, Vikings; John Kuhn, Green Bay Packers; and NHL players Ryan Carter, Alex Stalock and Thomas Vanek. Other pros are interested. “We’re very blessed with great partners and a great corporate team who all embody and believe in our mission to impact youth athletes,” said Ryan. A new team member is Cory Englebert. “Ninety percent of what I know I learned from him. There would be no ETS without him,” Ryan said. “We have really good people, and that’s what makes this work,” Heidi said, including 90% of facility managers who once were clients. “When you’re clear on your mission and values, people take that and run with it.”





Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online