Bear shares on four years with Cougars softball

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If only graduation photos came out this good. Arthur Images

While the season may be over the lessons will carry on – the game’s not over yet

This past weekend, the University of Regina softball team finished their 2021 season with a final game against Ottawa and a win in the ball diamond. Now that the season has ended, some players have officially ended their Cougars careers. The Carillon interviewed one such player, Kat Bear, who just completed her fourth year playing with the cougars in Center Field position.

Can you tell us about your position and the importance of the position for the game?

“I play Center Field; it’s positioned right behind second base in the middle of the outfield between left and right field. The role of a center fielder is to oversee the entire outfield and outfielders. It requires you to have a strong arm and excellent range to throw balls from the outfield into the infield as quickly and precisely as possible.”

What is your favourite part about said position?

“My favourite part about playing center field is being able to see everything that goes on. Being in the middle of the field, it feels like I get to experience every play. Another close favourite is being involved with our pitchers; I make the pitchers involve me in every single out by giving hand signals. For example, for one out, we would hold up one finger and tap it on our head. Sharing those moments with them during an exciting game was special to me.”

What are some top workouts/training sessions that you have done in the past that you think have helped you most?

“During the winter months, the team carries out winter training to remain conditioned and to work on more of the finer skills. We would work on glove work, bat path on the tees, and overall conditioning with continuous reps, reps on the tee and front toss. Then, in the spring and summer when most of us leave to go back home, we are given a summer workout program. Coming into the season well-conditioned is what has helped me the most. I do this by following our summer conditioning program.”

What are 3 main reasons you enjoy playing for the Cougars specifically?

“The program is focused on culture, meaning our veteran players pass down the team values, attitudes, and behaviours that our team has developed over the years; it’s how we work together within our short, intense season in hopes to achieve the same goal, whether it’s a bid for the next upcoming season or to win a national championship. Our program is different because we stray away from the ‘me’ and ‘I’ to the ‘we.’ We do ‘whatever it takes for the team and for each other.’ We really are a family. Lastly, the coaching staff. We are beyond lucky to have the coaching staff that we do. Our coaches are unpaid volunteers who commit to our team for not only our six weeks of practice every day and travel every weekend, but for an entire year of fundraising, organizing, and off-season training. Our coaching staff never fails to push us, not only to become better ball players, but as people.”

You just recently finished your final game with the Cougars, and possibly the last game of your softball career; where else do you plan on going with the game?

“I may have finished my final game with the Cougars, but I can honestly say that this won’t stop me from playing the sport I love. I plan on competing in the 2022 Canadian Native Fastball Championships in Prince George, BC. I will continue to coach softball to share my passion with younger generations, and who knows what else the future has in store for me.”

What is a great memory you have over your years playing with the Cougars?

“Over the past four years, it’s nearly impossible for me to say just one great memory. Two moments that stand out for me are when we became national champions in 2018 & 2019. Those two games and moments were two surreal and amazing experiences.”

How did the overall Cougars season go this year? Are you happy with the overall result?

“Our season this year was full of learning and continuous growth. We added 12 new players to the roster with only 6 veteran players. We saw improvement throughout the season and the future looks bright for the program as we have entered a new era. Regardless of the outcome this season, I will always be proud to be a Cougar.”

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