S2E1 – Dusty Litvak

Dusty currently serves as the Head Men’s Coach and Assistant Women’s coach for the Princeton Tigers. The Tigers men’s team just wrapped up a great 2022-23 season where they were the Northeast Water Polo Conference champions and made a deep run into the NCAA Championships at Cal.

Before his time at DeNunzio Pool, Litvak spent five seasons at UCLA, working with the men’s and women’s water polo teams. From 2013-15, he was an assistant with the men’s team that won the 2014 national title, the first time UCLA had won the national championship in ten years. Litvak then assisted with the women’s squad from 2015-2018, highlighted by an MPSF championship and a second-place finish at the 2017 NCAA Tournament.

We are here to talk about is Dusty’s role as the League Commissioner and SoCal Director for the Futures Water Polo League. The Futures league prides itself for providing high level competition for the top water polo clubs in the nation.

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Podcast Transcript

When COVID hit and things really shut down in California, there was a lot of things that was a lot of negatives, of course, about COVID well outside the world of water polo and sport. But but also California itself was not allowing these major tournaments. So that provided an opportunity for us to take the tournament to Utah. Yeah. Which was it ended up being a good thing because we we included teams from Utah, from Texas, from Florida, from Connecticut, outside of California, and there are clubs that are making a name for themselves and growing everywhere. Hey, this is Sean Stringham with Game On Live Studio. We're all about helping grow the sport of water polo through understanding best practices from the perspectives of athletes, parents, coaches and the legends of water polo. If you're looking to get into water polo or want to see water polo grow as an athlete, supporter or coach of the game, then you should subscribe. Click on the bell and get notified every time we release a new podcast. Game on. All right. We'd like to welcome everyone out to the game on Water Polo podcast. We are excited to welcome Dustin Litvak here on episode one of season two of the game on Water Polo Pod. Dusty is currently serves as the head men's coach and assistant women's coach for the Princeton Tigers. He is joining us from Barcelona, Spain, where he's on a training trip with his Princeton women's team. The Tigers men's just wrapped up a great 22,020 23 season where they were the Northeast Water polo Conference champions and made a deep run into two championships at Cal before his time at D'annunzio pool.

Litvack spent five seasons at UCLA working for the men's and women's water polo teams from 2013 to 2015. He was the assistant for the men's team that won the 2014 national title, the first time UCLA had won the national championship in ten years. Litvack then assisted with the Women's squad from 2015 to 2018, highlighted by an SF championship and a second place finish at the 2017 NCAA Tournament in. But what we're really here to talk about is Dusty's role as the league commissioner. And so Cal director for the Futures Water Polo League, the Futures League prides itself for providing high level competition for top water polo clubs in the nation. Dusty, thanks for joining me today here on the Game on Water Polo podcast. And good afternoon and good morning from Barcelona. Right. Yeah. Good afternoon. Here for sure. No, thanks for having me, Sean. Thanks for the long, thorough introduction. I appreciate it. Good to be here. We've got to give good context, right? Dusty is. Dusty is all over the place when you talk to Dusty. Whenever you're texting or communicating with Dusty, you always have to check. Like, what time zone are you in? What's? You're either in New Jersey or you're in California and you're in Europe. So you're all over in the water polo world.

But let's let's just kick off for contacts for those of you who are listening. Today is Tuesday and we're coming up on our first weekend of futures play here in 2023, which is going to be our 16 you boys in the weekend following that is going to be our 18 you boys or kick off weekends. And so, Dusty, I'm just going to turn it over to you as the league commissioner for futures for the average water polo fan. Like, how do you define futures? Give us kind of some history of the event, past, present, and no pun intended, future of what what you're looking for. No, no. Futures is, I think, an opportunity for clubs that are, I think, serious about the sport and want to provide high level competitions. So I think what we try to do is, is be as professional as we can be in terms of, you know, getting schedules out early, you know, and make sure we communicate properly with all the parties involved, whether that's the teams, coaches, administrators, referees, the hosts, things like that, and just try to provide the most professional experience we can for all the clubs. And these are again, clubs who I think are really serious about growing the sport and making sure that there's incentive. You know, I think one thing that we kind of noticed was that there wasn't really any incentive week to week necessarily in the when these kids are not in high school seasons, maybe to come to practice as much or try or care as much at practice because the result wasn't so right in front of them every weekend when they're in high school, they're playing games and they can see, you know, all their work paying off.

So we wanted to provide something similar. So what we've done, I think we started futures and maybe 2017, 2018, some around there, and it was started off very small and it's just kind of grown and grown and grown and really, really happy that we're able to provide the same high level experience on the on the girls side now know a lot of the girls in Southern California will be in high school season this this winter, but Northern California will start up. And then obviously the Southern California girls will pick up in the spring. But that's been great. And then, as I mentioned, just trying to give these kids incentive to to want to get better year round. And that's kind of where futures is kind of evolved because it's grown and grown and grown with the sixteens and 18 and unders into kind of a relegation league where it's really hard year to year to know exactly where clubs are going to place. You can't really base it completely off the last year because kids age out, kids age up. And so this way, as you're playing through it, you can kind of figure out, all right, this team may have started in D three, but they actually have an opportunity to get all the way to D one by the end of the league, you know, or move down if they're placed too high early on.

So I think that's that's one of the positive elements. And again, because all of the results of the games have consequences, right? The kids have to go to practice. The practice means something, the games mean something. And the more the kids are playing in games with with that have the result has meaning, right? The more comfortable they get under pressure and of course, the better it is for everybody. Yeah, no, it's a great system and I think that's one thing that even throughout it, because you have an end goal of qualifying for super finals, right? We haven't really even talked about that where you go through the league play and it's really several different tournaments built into one big league because you're advancing in your overall group. Like you said, you might be placed in D three initially, but you can qualify up into that D one league in any given year, right? Absolutely. Yeah, no question. And it gives the opportunity for for league clubs to kind of maybe experiment with their lineups and determine, you know, it's not just based on one weekend where maybe a player is sick or they have the SAT test or whatever it is, it is played over the course of six weekends.

The teams are playing anywhere between 21 and 24 games during those six weekends. And again, the better they do, there is opportunities through the league to move up or stay on those higher divisions and then, as you mentioned, qualify for the highest division of the super finals. We definitely are also about opportunity. So that's where also the league is grown and we've added divisions and then had second divisions of the super finals and even third division so that we have more opportunities for other teams to play. We definitely don't want to exclude, but at the same time we want to provide opportunities where, where the games are pretty evenly matched. No one gets better when games are lopsided in the score. It doesn't help the team that's better, doesn't help the team that's trying to get better. So we try to make sure that through that league play and the qualification that you're playing pretty evenly matched the. On. It's week to week. And this year, I mean, we've got 18 new men, 16 new men, 14, 12. And then the same on the women's side, right? Yeah. No, absolutely. And it's yeah, And now I think we'll get to it. But Southern California and Northern California and then finally expanded outside of California, which is awesome as well. Yeah. And so let's talk I mean, with that point, let's go ahead and talk about that a little bit. We've got how many teams do you have? Let's talk a little bit about the growth of the league.

I mean, it's grown since last year. I've been involved now for three years and it continues to get bigger every year, Just kind of get a gross perspective of what's happening in Southern California and Southern California and the impact of Texas. Joining the league now to. Yeah. So when we started it, I kind of headed up the Southern California portion, and this was only boys at the time we didn't have girls yet. And then John Bania, who was the assistant at Stanford at the time, and James Lathrop from from, at the time Mariani, now he's the assistant at Stanford. They headed up the north cal portion, and we kind of coordinated everything so that we had our kind of separate leagues through the year and then came together for the super finals. But it was small. I mean, there were, I don't know, maybe 8 to 10 teams in Southern California and even less probably in Northern California. So it was very manageable. And as you know, teams got interested and they saw the kind of product we were putting forth, know, we were doing everything we could to get top level referees, top level venues again, get schedules out early, really make it attractive to the clubs to understand you're getting a high value for what you're paying for. An addition we're giving you. We're allowing your parents to plan their lives. So I think that's that's one thing I do want to hit on too, is that one one flaw probably of our sport is it schedules come out the night before.

And for parents that have multiple kids, they play multiple sports. Even if they have multiple that just play water polo. I don't know how they do it when they're getting schedules at the last minute. I mean, carpools. But but we're trying to give two weeks notice on every schedule at a bare minimum with with as few changes as we need to make. But through that, I think a lot of other clubs saw what was happening and saw that a lot of the top teams were choosing to join futures. And so it kind of just grew in its own, you know, and teams continue to reach out. So that was positive for sure. And then obviously when COVID hit and things really shut down in California, there was a lot of things that was a lot of negatives, of course, about COVID well outside the world of water polo and sport. But but also California itself was not allowing these major tournaments. So that provided an opportunity for us to take the tournament to Utah. Yeah. Which was it ended up being a good thing because we we included teams from Utah, from Texas, from Florida, from Connecticut, outside of California, and there are clubs that are making a name for themselves and growing everywhere. So and we added Girls that summer as well.

So that was another positive. And then, you know, as soon as they kind of were part of it, of course they want to stay with it and we try to find ways. So this year we were able to figure that out. I mean, the biggest challenge we've had is that we had to have a qualifier for the super finals because so many clubs are reaching out from all over the country saying they wanted to come to super finals. We couldn't just say yes to everybody and it wasn't fair to say yes to some and no to others without having a proper qualification. So by adding some of the Utah teams do come to California for competition, but by adding the Texas component, they're actually hosting games for teams not just from Texas but from other states. So there is a legitimate qualification to get into the super finals in the summer. Yeah, well, and I think it's cool. I mean, a quick plug here. I mean, we streamed the games from Utah, we streamed super finals and some eight teams and 16 games last year. And this year the big, huge step is that we're going to try to stream all of those 18 U 16 new boys and girls games from Southern California and Northern California and Texas. So it gives everyone an opportunity to really see what great water polo looks like. What a great opportunity. Right? It's huge. I mean, again, you hate to think of positives that came out of COVID, but that another one.

Right. That that what you've done obviously goals and just how much is out there how much content streaming is streamed futures is definitely one of them. But so much has become streamed now in the world of water polo and it's so good for the growth of the sport. Obviously, selfishly, as a college coach, you know who lives on the East Coast, it's great because I can't get out to California as much. So being able to watch the games either live or archived has been fantastic and it's really helped a lot of players from different clubs, you know, put together a better recruiting reels and be seen by by so many different people. And it's such a great thing and it's ambitious for sure on your guys part. Yeah. And we're so grateful though. I'm hoping it's going to work. It's going to work, but I'm sure there's going to be a couple of hiccups here and there, but it's going to work, right? So, no, no, it's great. And it's not just, you know, there's a lot of services that just turn the camera on and that's it. Wide angle, camera. No, no commentary. But what you guys do is so helpful and so beneficial. Yes. Again, selfishly as a college coach, but also to grandma and grandpa or aunts and uncles anywhere in the world, you know, they can watch their relatives play.

And again, just so good for the growth of the sport. So the fact that we do have four divisions of teams this year, we do have four divisions of eight teams and all four are going to be streamed is such a huge, I think, benefit for those clubs and those players. Yeah, Yeah. And you know, my goal self I want to see I want to see fans of water polo come out and just want to watch water polo. Right. And so we're going to try to keep the podcast going and tell the story here a little bit of how as the season develops. So it'll be interesting and hopefully get some athletes on here as well as some other coaches as well for the podcast as well as on site during the weekend. So try to do a little bit of better storytelling about the league and about the qualification, because I love the fact that it's a relegation league, right, of being able to advance and now we're. Fall back depending on how you play. I mean, it just really does. It's great for storytelling, right? Yeah. And I don't want I don't want to guess get too much into the nitty gritty because it is a little bit complicated. It changes by division and how many teams and things like that. All that information is public on our website, but basically, you know, the very first two weekends of play are within your current division.

So every team is placed in a division. Initially you play everybody once within your division over the first two weekends and then the third weekend is really kind of the exciting weekend because that's where the crossover play happens. So the top teams are kind of set. So if you do really well in Division one, you're set, you don't go into a tournament, you're staying in Division one, you've proved you belong there. But if you're kind of in the bottom half or bottom third of Division one, depending on the age group, you're going to move into a tournament with the top third or top half of Division two, and then there could be some change. And that's a really exciting weekend. And last year I thought some of the scores were so many shootouts, it was you could tell the Passion was there. And I think having that streamed is going to be even more evident. But you just could see the energy that came around that third weekend of, Wow, there's, you know, we can move up to the next division, you know, and there were so many teams are grateful for that opportunity because they felt like they belong there, but they got a chance to prove it. It's one thing to say it. It's another chance to prove it. And then if a team ended up moving down divisions because in that in that third weekend, you know, again, two and three will mix a little bit, three and four will mix a little bit as well.

There's still another opportunity on Weekend six. So after week and three, we go back into our new divisions so we can four and five are very similar to one and two You play everybody wants in your new division and then we can six similar to weekend three is a crossover weekend which will help place teams in certain divisions or even seed the super finals. Once we add in the NorCal teams and add in the out of California teams. So again, there's just meaning to everything because you can't you can't bring you know, I don't know half your half your team to a weekend and think it's going to be fine right. You may end up in that in that relegation tournament which you don't want to end up in. Right. Or or if you if you're in that relegation tournament and you don't have your full squad. Right. That can be tough. So again, it really also gives incentive for those players to want to show up where when I was a club coach, you know, you could just tell that it was in the off season. There was a lot of times where they didn't want to be there as much and so they would plan other things to happen during those weekends. And I think the other thing we try to do is be be mindful of that. So it's really only one weekend a month per age group for the most part.

So we're not overwhelming them where they're having to play every single weekend. There is plenty of time to do other things with family, right? So there I mean, within this there are thousands of moving parts for you as a league commissioner. Like I can't imagine because you've got 30, 32 teams per division times, however many different divisions that you have. How how do you personally pull something like the magnitude of this off, like in terms of managing referees and pool sites and schedules like that? That's an amazing task. Yeah. I mean, I think like, like water pool itself, it's a team effort, you know, you have to have good people around you and you've got to rely on good people. There's no question. There's a lot on my plate when it in terms of scheduling and trying to put all the pieces together of the logistics. And I actually really that's something I've just always enjoyed is making schedules and things like that. But, you know, having Peggy McClintock has just been a godsend and she does so much for us administratively, you know, And we have a head referee, you know, and he does a lot. Lavon And the biggest thing, though, honestly, is just and, you know, as a coach yourself, just having really, really good clubs with professional coaches who respond to emails, respond to texts, know they're cognizant of what you're trying to do. The bigger picture, it's not just about them.

Of course, everybody's going to have certain, you know, requests they're going to make in terms of schedules that that fit with their school. We get it all the time and we just ask them to try to get out in front of it as early as possible. But yeah, it takes everybody just understanding like what makes this league successful is that we can get information out so early and stick to it and not make these last minute changes all the time. And sometimes it happens early in the season and it picks it gets better as the year goes along. But of course, you know, I rely on a lot of people to do my job for the league. And ultimately I understand to this is what we're trying to put the best product out there and the most professional product. So we can't ask the coaches to be professional and the referees to be professional on deck, you know, the fans, etc. If we're not putting a professional product out there to begin with in terms of allowing them to plan their lives, Right. Yeah. No, I mean, that's the critical thing especially. And the organization part is so important because as you talk with coaches and you see leagues and events and the question is why is water polo always like why is it always last minute? I mean, because it's hard. I mean, you got pools that you have to deal with and you've got all sorts of different moving pieces.

Right? There's a little bit more limited resources. But to that point, like what what are the top elements that coaches and athletes can do and parents can do to help make the events go smoothly in the league? Run smoothly from your perspective? Um, you know, I keep using the word professional, but honestly, I think that's the most appropriate word to use in the sense of now, especially being streamed to understand that all of their actions are being viewed by hundreds, if not thousands of people and, and college coaches. And so like, this is a big part of the recruiting process as well. So their behavior on deck, you know, things like that. But I think just just like taking it seriously and obviously want them to have fun. It is a game. There's no question about it. But but understanding that everything is a representation of the league and the product we're trying to put out there. And the less we have to deal with parents being ejected from the stands or coach and referee negative interactions, things like that, I mean, I think that our sport really just needs in general better communication between all parties and so that that part of it again, only happens if everybody approaches it with the same mindset of we are trying to do what's best for the sport. Every time we come onto the pool deck. So it's, you know, we're not going to win every game we play.

We're not going to be happy with every call the official makes. We're not going to be happy with every action in the water. But, you know, if we understand the big picture and that we can't have incidents that we're dealing with that that make our sport look bad, that make the league look bad, their team is an addition, you know, that that really helps things flow smoothly. I think obviously, staying on top of the website as as little as sorry, as much as we want to keep the schedule consistent and not change it, we do have to make changes from time to time. We get last minute requests from teams or teams drop out and we have to fix it. So just staying on top of that so that no one goes to the wrong pool or another game times the simple stuff like that. But but again, not only with the games being streamed this year, we're also increasing our presence on social media. So we're going to have a full time social media person, if not more than one, going to be out as many venues as possible. Definitely a weakness of mine, no question. I did not grow up in the social media era, so that's not a strong point. And so we're going to have someone much younger take that over. And really, I think she's going to be great and she's going to be out there this weekend, I think, at San Clemente High School, as well as maybe Harvard Westlake High School.

So two of the venues for our 69 ers, but she'll be at all age groups. I know we're only streaming sixteens and eighteens, but she'll be around all the different age groups right throughout the year. Cool. Well, you got to shout out those handles now for your social media. Where should people go to find futures? Water polo on in the social world? Yeah, just at futures. Wfpl okay. And I think that's the website URL is also, if I recall right, futures dot com, right? Right. Yeah, exactly. And then mainly, I mean, right now social media wise, it's almost solely Instagram. We don't really use Twitter anymore. Don't ask me about Tik Tok. Maybe that's something she'll take on. I have no idea. But but Instagram for sure. And you're telling me the old guy game on live studio has Tik Tok. Come on. We got we got to. We got to make it happen in that new world, man. Maybe 20, 24. We'll see, baby. Yeah. So, yeah. Also, I think we didn't we didn't plan on this, but I think we should probably talk a little bit about the game desk and six eight sports and also that opportunity will probably get an opportunity to reach out to six eight sports to get them here on the podcast as well. But another opportunity in terms of being able to have some access to the sports.

Talk a little bit about 6 to 8 sports and the game desk and how that interacts with futures and what to expect there. Yeah, I mean, again, it's just one of those things where our sport has been a little bit behind the curve in comparison to other sports. And so they're going to come out this year and they are going to do the stats basically for our sixteens and 18 under games. Again, we're not going be able to provide that just yet for the younger age groups for teens and 12 maybe down the line. But this year we want to make sure we do it right. So we're going to start with 16 and 18 and any player who has a membership on the app and has a68 number we'll be able to track throughout the course of the league all of their stats. And again, just another element that they can provide for college coaches as part of their recruiting packet and also just kind of see their own progress. And it's a valuable tool for also for the coaches so they can see right after the game everything is right there. Instead of having it again on paper, it's pretty much going to be all on the app and done electronically. So live if the venue has good wi fi, you'll be able to track that live if not all be uploaded after the game or whenever they get access to the wi fi.

But I think, you know, hand in hand with what you guys are doing with the stream really, I think even moves the league to to another level to be able to provide both of these services for the for the athletes, for for the coaches, for the clubs. So we're really excited about having 6 to 8 and what they're doing with the game desk in addition to everything else they're doing. But definitely that's a big benefit for us at Futures and and excited to see how many people take advantage of it. I think it's just going to keep growing and growing. Yeah, it's incredible stuff. I've used I've been will game on live studio and then our club has been partners with 6 to 8 for a couple of years now and fantastic stuff. Our kids, our athletes love it. After every game they walk over to see what they're. Plus minus is their following and understand the balance of scoring goals, but also the contribution away from that from assist or and exclusions, you know, steals, turnovers, etc. and kind of get an overall big picture of the game. So it's really exciting stuff. If you don't have a68 account out there, go get it. And you can do that at 6 to 8 sports and figure that out. So any other shout outs for your sponsors for the league that we need to take care of? You know, off the top of my head, I don't I mean, right now, Cap seven for sure.

Yeah. Cap seven has been a big supporter of the league from from the jump. And as we get closer to the super finals, even bigger. But over the course of the league. But right now, I mean, yeah, we're fortunate to have really, really good partners. Water pool is a very small sport, But, you know, the fact that as I mentioned before, you know, Cap seven, one of the biggest companies in water polo and then, you know, game on live studio with streaming and 6 to 8, I mean, it doesn't get much bigger than Tony and Maggie and what they're doing. But to have the game desk as affiliated with with the league and what that's going to provide, it's all really, really exciting. And I think it's again, I think it's just going to keep evolving. Okay, so what So go into a fan mode here from league. And I know you kind of have to be careful on this, but what are some key matchups? What should people watch for? You know, what are what are we what should as we're going into weekend one here for 16 you and 18 you over the next couple of weeks what should we look for. Uh, I would, I would really honestly toggle between all the different pools. I know it's easy to kind of want to gravitate towards Division one, and I think that, you know, but also they are mixed.

Like there are games, there are Division one teams playing at Harvard-westlake, but also at San Clemente, you know, over the different days. But but there are a lot of great teams in all four divisions, to be honest. And I think there's going to be a lot a lot of movement between the divisions. So it can be exciting to see, again, those teams clawing, wanting to claw their way up, you know, from Division four or three or two into Division one. So it's it's early definitely, especially when you're talking about 16 and unders. Yeah, I think it's maybe easier with the 18 and unders to to know what to expect. But with 16, you know, some of the clubs are high school only clubs, so this could be a JV team or it could be their best 16 that you don't know until they show up. Yeah. And it's a little a little tough to make early predictions, I would say I definitely what but I wouldn't be surprised if there are a lot of close games, you know, right away. I think just from seeing what these clubs have done, like when we started again, we're talking six day clubs and these were everybody kind of knew these were the top clubs and there are so many more now. There are so many more clubs that have made a name for themselves and have gotten so much better and have just done a great job.

And it's it's great for the sport because there are so many good players out there. So again, I don't want to maybe speculate just yet on what the top games or what games, but if I if I was a fan, I definitely would be toggling back and forth between all the different pools and, you know, trying to almost scoreboard watch a little bit, too, because there's going to be some exciting moments towards the end of a lot of the games. Well, yeah, that's for sure. For sure. I mean, if I'm a fan, I have my big screen, I cook my laptop up to it and put all three up at the same time and watch all three of them. Maybe, maybe next year we get the red zone. We get the red zone. There we go. Yeah, for sure. For sure. So and I think I mean, just in terms of you're talking a little bit about numbers, but and I don't know which is which, but I think 18 U has 36 teams in it and 16 you boys has 34 teams. I mean that's a lot of kids playing water polo and getting a great a lot of fantastic amount of exposure. And it's just it's just fantastic, you know, to be able to watch and see that happen. So great job, Dusty, and building something that's incredible, right? Yeah. I mean, it's definitely not just me. I know my name is in front of it, but there are a lot of people that put a lot a lot of hard work into this and do a lot behind the scenes.

And it's it's just really great to see. You know, I you know, I try to get out there for a few of the weekends, but definitely super finals and see the competition and just see everybody getting better in the sport growing. And that's what we're all here for. Yeah. Awesome. Well, we're going to wrap up. I ask all of my guests the same question at the end, and that is we're building the ultimate water polo song list because, you know, that's I love music and all that. So maybe from a coaching perspective, maybe as a lead commissioner, what's your what's your pump up song like? What's the song that gets you ready for water polo pump up song, I mean. Uh. Wow. I'm not really a pump up guy. Yeah, you don't strike me as, like, someone that's dancing on the deck necessarily, but no, no, you won't find that. To be honest, before games, I probably meditate more than I listen to music. But this year. This year. All right. I don't know if this is going to fit at all within your year. That's our list. I don't know what's there, but this year I was listening to a lot of a blues artist, Taj Mahal. Oh, nice. Yeah, Him. I have. I've been to a Taj Mahal concerts before.

Oh, wow. Didn't expect that. There you go. So I thought, you know, I really enjoyed almost every morning. I wouldn't say right before the game, but morning for sure. So that is mental preparation for for water polo. Leaving Shrunk was probably my favorite song. Nice. Definitely one of his more popular hits. So you can add that one to the I don't think you can add meditation to your playlist that would fit in so well. It's working out well and it's not necessarily a workout, but just like what I think because I come from a sports psychology background and I think it's really important for people to understand like what what it is to find their their find where their peak performance is, right? And so I think that's a key thing. And so and sometimes you have to mellow it out a little bit and sometimes you have to bring it up. But I love I love that. I love the fact that on the meditation standpoint and being aware of your surroundings, and I think I'm going to hook that in probably to the performance of your Princeton man. You guys had a great run here at the end of in the to A Do you want to talk a little bit about your team? A little. Uh, just love the guys, to be honest, that that makes it everything. Really, really blessed with the incredible team and incredible staff and really supportive administration that allows us to do a lot of the things that we want to do.

And so it was a fun year. It was a special year. A lot of milestones. We broke a lot of records for the program, a lot a lot of big wins. And you know, the nice part, too, is the fact that, you know, it's it's it's a team that that left its mark. But also we're continuing to get better. And I think that's really that's really fun to think about and kind of to tie in and circle back to futures. It's just growing the sport, you know, making sure that there are opportunities that our country is so big, there's no reason that water polo should be, you know, existing at a high level in one state. It doesn't that's not common in other sports. And so it's just great for us to be able to show what we can do on the East Coast. And then as as we're done with futures, give this opportunity for East Coast teams, for teams from the Midwest, from the South, from the Southeast all over to show what they can do. And it's just going to make our country better and definitely provide for a better atmosphere of the sport. And then just hopefully Olympic gold medals and continuing on the women's side and picking up on the men's side. Yeah, no, that's going to be awesome. I'm so excited to have a legitimate National League from all over the country having an opportunity to play up and to qualify into the finals.

I mean, it's going to be that super finals is going to be spectacular. It's going to be so cool. Yeah. And that's going to be in Northern California this year. So we try to flip flop Joes. So when they're in SoCal, we're in NorCal and vice versa. But really excited about that. Again, like you said, this is the biggest league we've had just in Southern California alone. But then when you add all the other components, it should be massive and it should be a lot of fun. Yeah, it's going to be great. Hey, well, thanks again to Dusty Litvack of Princeton Water Polo and the league Commissioner for Futures. If you don't mind, if you please subscribe rate, give a five star review and share the podcast and follow us on social media. You can find us at Game on LHS, of course follow futures as well at Futures WP. Be sure to tune in almost every weekend for full coverage of the Futures Leagues on Game on Live Studio. You can also find those on the Futures Water Polo League website as well. We are just trying to make a journey and be a voice for sport growth in the water polo wilderness. Always honor the game. Keep your head on a pivot until next time. Peace. Thanks, Dusty. Thank you. All right. Have a great one.

Contributor Details

S2E1 – Dusty Litvak

Dusty currently serves as the Head Men’s Coach and assistant Women’s coach for the Princeton tigers. He is joining us from Barcelona Spain where he is on a training trip with the women’s team. The Tigers men’s team just wrapped up a great 2022-23 season where they were the Northeast Water Polo Conference champions and made a deep run into the NCAA Championships at Cal.