Written by Andy Newman Thursday, 19 September 2013 00:00
“The great thing about age and tennis is that you always feel young,” said Bob Litwin, well known North Shore senior player, about his latest accomplishment, winning the United States Tennis Association’s National Men’s 65 Grass Court
Championships in both singles and doubles earlier this month. “Tennis keeps you young,” added the age and injury-defying Litwin, who grew up in Great Neck, played for many years in Port Washington and now lives in Glenwood Landing.
“When I was playing in my 35’s and 40’s, I never really thought I’d be playing in the 65s and over,” he added, referring to his latest victories, achieved at the Seabright Lawn Tennis & Cricket Club in New Jersey. Despite a three-year layoff due to two hip surgeries, Litwin has compiled a 35-1 record this year and won the Grand Masters gold medal singles title at the World Maccabiah Games in Israel in July.
At Seabright, Litwin followed a particularly rigorous schedule, playing almost every day during the two-week span leading up to the final day of competition. “When you’re younger you tend to play every day,” he explained. “When you’re older you need to have sort of a balance between getting your game right and making sure that your body is ready to play. If you play too much, you can get very fatigued. You get hurt more easily. It’s always a challenge.”
Litwin, who regularly addresses groups as a motivational speaker and has a book being published next spring (Live The Best Story of Your Life: A World Champion’s Guide to Lasting Change), has a unique philosophy about his game.
“Results are part of what I play for, certainly,” he admitted. “But I always think ‘how can I do better next time? What can I do to be a better person on the court?’ I keep thinking about my mission about things that are not related to winning and losing, but related to the kind of competitor that I hope to be.”
Litwin is a great admirer of U.S. Open champ Rafael Nadal and feels that they have similar outlooks. “I’ve been dominating this year,” he pointed out. “He’s been dominating this year after coming back from knee problems. We do play a different game and we’re in a different world. Of course, you go out there and you always want to win, but he says it’s not always about that. He just wants to keep on getting better. That’s what I’m totally aligned with.”
Ironically, Litwin met Nadal’s finals opponent, Novak Djokovic, the no. 1 ranked player in the world, several weeks ago and played informally with him in a doubles match. Who was Litwin cheering for in that finals match against Nadal? “I was rooting for Djokovic,” he admitted. “When I met him, I found him to be a delightful young man, very bright, very funny. He was a great guy. He was relaxed and comfortable and not blown up with himself at all. But I usually root for Nadal. I’ve never met him, but what I see in him, I really really like.”
Litwin is a member of the Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame. He was the first director of tennis for the Village Club of Sands Point and was a consultant to the Port Washington Yacht Club when it began to develop its tennis program.
He has won the International Tennis Federation World Championship, 14 United States Tennis Association National titles from 1991 to 2007 and was ranked first in the over 55 years old bracket in 2005. He’s also been selected for the Senior Davis Cup team nine times.
Saturday, 30 November 2013 00:00
The recent adoption the Common Core Learning Standards, a rigorous series of teacher and student assessment testing, and the potential sharing of confidential student information with third parties have resulted in a radical change in the educational landscape in New York State—one that many parents have been concerned about.
To address these growing concerns, the Great Neck School District’s United Parent Teacher Council recently hosted a question and answer session at South High School with New York State Regent Roger Tilles, a Great Neck resident who has been outspoken with both his support of content the Common Core and his disapproval in how the new set of learning standards have been implemented.
Friday, 29 November 2013 00:00
At a meeting last week, after almost four hours of back and forth between Clover Drive residents, the attorney representing builder Frank Lalazarian’s controversial Old Mill II project and members of the Village of Great Neck’s Planning Board, there was very little progress, no vote taken and far more questions than answers.
The subdivision plan, a project under discussion for the last five years and recently approved by the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals, calls for 11 houses to be built in the area behind the Old Mill Apartments, with sole access from Clover Drive. Complicating the builder’s efforts to gain approval to start building is the fact that one of the lots is within the boundaries of Great Neck Estates and will require that village’s approval also. Additionally, Lalazarian’s project must gain the approval of several Nassau County agencies, including its department of public works, department of health and planning commission.
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:23
The Bears team before a recent game at the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink with Coach Dan Marsella.
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
Great Neck’s Ayal Hod is the proud coach of Great Neck’s winning Top Gun sixth grade team in the Island Garden Fall League. Hod puts together the team every season, mixing local youngsters from Great Neck and children son Dillon’s AAU Jamaica Queens team. The league is very competitive and challenging and it teaches the children many valuable lessons: “how to be great teammates by sharing the ball, how to compete hard on every possession and what you put in is what you get out.”
Hod says that the main challenge is for every child to bring their individual talent to the team and collectively they have something special. an ex-player, he says that “basketball was very good to me, it helped pay my college education and it paid my-bills for many years to come via several basketball commercials ... basketball also opened many doors for me and it helped me tremendously in my business career.”
Hod enjoys sharing his basketball journey background with his son and his friends and having them learn lessons too.