Success is a Result of Our Trainers

Elite FT understands that good training and coaching, especially at young ages, directly impacts a child’s experience in the game. Their view of the game is shaped, in no small part, by the trainer or coach. Good training instills love and passion for the game. We believe to “teach them how to play now, they will learn how to win later.”

The success of Elite FT is a direct result of its quality, professional training staff. All Elite FT Trainers are Confident. Disciplined. Elite. As a result, our athletes become Confident. Disciplined. Elite. At all Elite FT training sessions, our staff creates an environment in which athletes must be disciplined and focus the entire session.  In this way, athletes maximize their potential and gain a large amount of confidence, getting them one step closer to becoming elite.

“Our mission is to provide an educational and fun environment where our Elite FT trainers can instruct and challenge young athletes, helping them become Confident, Disciplined, Elite athletes.”

Justin McMillian

Owner/Executive Director, Elite FT

Be Confident. Be Disciplined. Be Elite.

Sports Fitness and Skills Training to Take Your Game to the Next Level.

The Elite FT Training Philosophy

Be Confident.

Athletes must believe in themselves in order to succeed. Confidence can be gained in different ways. But, going above and beyond the ‘average athlete’ (practicing and competing) is a sure way to gain confidence. Athletes who put in the extra time at elite sessions will feel better about themselves on and off the field.

Be Disciplined.

Athletes must be willing to put in the extra time and hard work to be successful. Elite FT Trainers create a disciplined environment at every session. Athletes will connect every training session to their goals to grow their passion for becoming a hard-working, intense, disciplined, elite athlete.

Be Elite.

Elite FT’s goal is to create elite athletes. Our staff creates a training environment so our athletes increase confidence, discipline and skill level. Through technical work and repetition, athletes improve in skill. Along with the mental aspects of training, athletes must have a high level of technical skill.

Elite FT History

Elite FT History

Elite FT had its first official training session in Granite City, IL on April 25th, 2002.

However, the idea began in October of 2000. At this time, the Owner and Founder, Justin McMillian had just recovered from his 2nd ACL surgery to his right knee. Justin spent many, many hours training on his own and was fortunate enough to have childhood friend, Jared ‘Iggy’ Embick (Akron University Assistant Coach) personally train him.

Iggy said, “Having set times, like teams do, forced us to get out and train. I simply personalized the workouts to his needs. He got rewarded for it in the end.” Iggy was right, as McMillian played his final college season in 2001 at SIUE and fulfilled his childhood dreams of becoming an All-American, leading his team to the Final Four and eventually playing professionally.

While training for the pros, McMillian began coaching club soccer and individually training players, offering the same service Iggy was giving him. As word spread, McMillian soon became overwhelmed and hired more trainers and named it Elite Futbol Training. Soon, more club teams began approaching Elite FT and it was no longer an individual training company, but also a team training organization and offering camps.

While training for professional soccer, McMillian found a new personal trainer, Tate Merten (his former Granite City High School Athletic Trainer), who is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. This began a new relationship, as Tate began writing fitness programs for Elite FT for soccer training programs. McMillian and Tate then wanted to offer Elite FT to all athletes. With Tate’s experience, the focus switched from just soccer training to adding speed programs and the program is now named Elite FT, Elite Fitness Training, and offers training to athletes of sports such as basketball, baseball, softball, football, lacrosse, hockey, tennis, and more.

In 2010, McMillian became the General Manager of the indoor facility in Glen Carbon, The Sports Academy.  After a 3 years of managing the facility, he opened CrossFit 618 with 2 friends, Jesse and Casey Elmore, inside of The Sports Academy.  After 2 years, CrossFit 618 closed and McMillian opened the Elite FT Training Center & Gym on November 1, 2014.  The Elite FT Training Center and Gym offers programs for kids and adults, open gym, sport-specific training programs for teams and clubs.


Be Confident. Be Disciplined. Be Elite.

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