Current: M.S.S. Sports Studies
Andrew Slorp has almost finished his first full season in professional baseball with the Single-A South Bend, Ind., Silver Hawks as the strength and conditioning coach.
Slorp, a master’s students in Sports Studies at the United States Sports Academy, attributes his new full-time job to securing a mentorship with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization in February 2011.
After many hours networking with major league teams, he finally got a call from Nate Shaw, the Diamondbacks’ major league strength coach and met with him in Washington, D.C., a few weeks later when Arizona travelled to play against the Washington Nationals. That led to an interview with Brett McCabe, the D-Backs minor league strength and conditioning coordinator, and the offer of unpaid volunteer work and then to a low-paying seasonal internship.
The Academy allows its master’s students to choose between a mentorship program for credit, completing a master’s thesis or taking three additional courses. About 80 percent of students end up accepting jobs that are offered to them from their mentorship organization.
Slorp says it definitely proved the right choice for him.
“My mentorship is by far and away the most important experience I’ve had as far as developing myself for my profession,” he says.
He has had to endure long, overnight bus rides in the minor leagues along with the other coaches and players this season. With 10 games left in the 140-game season, the Silver Hawks have a shot to make the playoffs as a wildcard team. Slorp discussed his mentorship and new career with the Diamondbacks as his team prepared to begin a four-game series with the Lake County Captains that will likely determine who makes the postseason.
Alumni Network: What led you to choose to do the Academy’s mentorship program with the Arizona Diamondbacks?
Andrew Slorp: I knew I wanted to get into Major League Baseball. I’ve played baseball all my life in high school and college. I thought this would be a good way to get my foot in the door. I used the mentorship as leverage. I was more interested in getting real world experience than taking extra classes. Teams I talked to seemed to like the structured process of the Academy’s mentorship program and the fact it was for credit more than someone who said they just wanted the experience. But I didn’t know that it would lead to a full-time opening coming into it. When I started my mentorship there were two other brand new strength and conditioning coaches in Arizona’s internship program, as well. So, I kind of had to compete for this position. My mentorship is by far and away the most important experience I’ve had as far as developing myself for my profession.
Alumni Network: What is one thing that the experience has opened your eyes to as a strength and condition coach in baseball?
Andrew Slorp: When I worked with high school athletes it was when they were going into the season. We tried to build up their strength and build up their speed as much as possible. Here we take a real clinical, a real basic approach and it’s more about keeping players healthy for the season. We have 10 games left in our 140-game season, and the players who wanted to work real hard and get after it three or four times a week and who I had to scale back, I’m starting to see a few completely breaking down right now. In my first full season, I’m seeing what strength and conditioning actually all means. It has been interesting to see everyone’s outcomes.
Alumni Network: What would you like to do in the future?
Andrew Slorp: I have two different areas I’m examining right now. In the offseason, I plan to start a strength and conditioning business with another Diamondbacks strength and conditioning coach that I’ve met. I also want to put in the time and effort to get to Double A or Triple A and eventually become a minor league strength and conditioning coordinator like my mentor, Bret (McCabe). I’m continuing to network and learn and, hopefully, one day I will get a spot in the big leagues. I really enjoy professional baseball. I like the bus trips. I like the baseball personalities, which are unique. What we do is fun.
To learn more about the United States Sports Academy’s mentorship requirements and the academic experience, go to: