Working with the Minnesota Twins’ coaching staff has been a lifelong dream for Blake Kretovics ’22.
Now, the Winona State University student is living that dream.
With a five-year contract finalized this year, students like Kretovics who are in WSU’s Exercise Science program have the opportunity to intern with the Minnesota Twins.
“The Minnesota Twins sought out our university and our program because we have strength and conditioning coaches and because they trust the caliber of our students,” WSU Professor of Exercise Science Erin White said.
The first 600-hour internship started earlier this year with WSU student Nathan Effertz ’22. Since then, the internship baton has been passed on to Kretovics, who started this summer. As a valued part of the coaching staff, interns lead warmups, help train athletes, and learn to use equipment in high caliber professional settings.
By stepping into the territory of elite athletic training, students are not only breaking through barriers of the industry that are normally hard to get past, but are also getting superior hands-on education in the strength and conditioning field.
We chose Winona State because it came highly recommended to us by one of our former players. Erin White and the group have been fantastic and have set the bar extremely high for other schools that we could potentially work with in the future.
The internship also includes the possibility of students being hired permanently.
“They want to hire out of their internship pool,” White said. “Our students could go from intern to hired with the Twins.”
So far, the students are certainly enjoying it.
“I had the privilege and honor to intern with the Minnesota Twins,” said Nathan Effertz, who was the first intern of the contract. “I was down in Florida working with major and minor league players in strength and conditioning.”
In his internship log, Nathan noted being able to coach within the weight room, participate in speed development and medicine ball testing, learn different ways to spot athletes, and test out new equipment for measuring bat speed.
“This is a big deal knowing that our program is recognized for our excellence,” White said. “Our interns are really getting noticed.”