Olympic medallist Regula returns home with Teck Coaching Series to share softball expertise
On a Saturday in late May, softball pitcher Lauren Regula brought her Olympic bling, invaluable insights, and lots of fun to her hometown of Trail, B.C. for the sixth edition of the Teck Coaching Series.
The three-time Olympian, who competed at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 before winning bronze in softball’s Olympic return at Tokyo 2020, led a clinic for more than 40 young players and nine volunteer coaches.
The Teck Coaching Series, which began in 2013, brings Olympic-level expertise to coaches and athletes in Canadian communities near where Canadian Olympic Committee National Partner Teck operates. This year’s event marked a return of the program for the first time since before the pandemic.
With her wealth of experience, Regula had a lot of lessons to share out on the diamond – including some that she and her teammates relied on to make their Olympic medal dreams a reality.
“I talked to the coaches and the players about the importance of fundamentals. They are so important, and most kids want to skip it and ‘get to the good stuff’ but I tried to emphasize that the fundamentals are the good stuff! Even at the Olympic level, we knew that the team that was going to win was the team that did the basics best. Over the course of training for Tokyo, our team would reference the ‘beautifully boring work’ that we knew we needed to do for the best chance of reaching the podium.”
“We all warmed up together, which was so fun! I love hopping in there with the kids! Then we broke down the throw and ground balls. For throwing, we broke it up to really talk through the fundamentals – feet, body position, shoulder/arm position. From there we worked up to ground balls and we worked on footwork. One of my favourite drills for kids to teach them how to field ground balls is to have them stand on one leg, their glove hand leg, until the ball is close to their feet. That way they always approach the ball with the proper foot first.”
It was clear that Regula thoroughly enjoyed her return to Trail for the first time in four years and that the athlete and coach participants were thrilled to meet their local hero, snag some autographs, and wear her Olympic medal.
“What an amazing day! I think I had more fun than the kids! It was such an honour to be back in my hometown with the next generation of ball players. I hope that I could inspire someone out there to keep going no matter what because, as Walt Disney said, ‘All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.’ That was the quote in my Tokyo 2020 Mission Journal that I looked at – and truly believed – every single day while I trained for the Games.”
“A huge thank you to Teck for having me be part of their event. My roots to Teck run deep. My great-grandparents, my grandfather, my Dad and many other family members worked there. So to be part of the Canadian Olympic Team while being supported by Teck was more impactful than I can express.”
A leader in responsible and diversified mining, Teck has been a proud National Partner of Team Canada since 2009.