Coaches give words of instruction to the team, but in this case, it’s also words of advice from family for 10-year-old Jack Westlake.
“Baseball has been his passion, so of course we looked into the Little League and everything that’s involved and immediately wanted to sign him up. Wasn’t sure exactly about the coaching aspect yet, but knew that if we did get on a team we would be happy to coach and it worked out perfectly that a team needed a coach and Lon has been coaching forever so it was a perfect fit,” said Rodney Westlake, Jack’s dad and Assistant Coach.
Jack’s grandpa, Lon Witter has been coaching Little League baseball since 1967, so he jumped at the chance to help his grandson on the U.S. Bank Home Mortgage Little League team.
“I’m trying to give back to the game what it gave to me as a youth, I was in little league as a boy. Who I am today, if you ask who’s your biggest influence in your life a lot of people will mention a professor or a parents, I’m going to mention baseball, baseball is what I am today, so I’m just giving back what the game gave to me,” said Lon Witter, Jack’s Grandpa and Head Coach.
A lesson to persevere through anything with physical, emotional and mental toughness.
“Everybody on your team has a job to do, they’re assigned a position, taught how to play that position, not only that, everybody on the team knows they’re important, treat everybody with respect, give them a job to do, help them to do it,” said Witter.
It’s a philosophy that’s caught on with his son-in-law as they coach the team together.
“Over time I’ve seen the kids by far get the most out of owning a position and really feeling good about it and their self esteem,” said Rodney Westlake.
And it’s become a lesson the young boys can take home.
“They’ve taught me how to be tough and they also go out with me everyday and play catch and support me, so its sort of fun having them as the coach,” said Jack Westlake.
The perfect lineup to create a winning team.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.
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