The Podcast

Are We Killing the Dream? Transitioning to the ITF Transition Tour


To listen to this week’s podcasts, click on the white arrow in the bar below:

Part 1 with Tim Russell
Part 2 with Dave Miley


On February 1, 2018, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) sent out a press release describing its effort to reduce the number of professional tennis players through the creation of a Transition Tour (see and for more info).

What’s obviously missing from the ITF’s announcement is a clear-cut pathway for those juniors who choose to go to college instead of turning pro straight from their junior careers. I decided to reach out to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) CEO, Tim Russell, to get his thoughts on how best to navigate this new arrangement. As you’ll hear in this week’s episode, even Tim doesn’t have the answers just yet though he is certainly doing his due diligence to get them.

You can learn more about the ITA at Tim Russell’s email is [email protected]. He is incredibly responsive to anyone reaching out with questions – I am very grateful to him for that!

I also had a follow-up conversation with former ITF Director of Development Dave Miley who has published some very detailed thoughts on this new Transition Tour and its potential impact. So, lucky you! This week’s topic is a two-fer!

Dave Miley was the Executive Director of Tennis Development for the International Tennis Federation from 1991 until 2015 and in this role he lead the biggest department of the ITF and was responsible for the non professional activities of the ITF including junior tennis, senior tennis, wheelchair tennis, technical and anti-doping as well as the ITF’s Development Programme. During this time, he visited over 140 countries advising National Associations, conducting coaches’ workshops and directing junior training programmes. Dave was actively involved in the ITF’s High-Performance programmes, helping to establish 5 residential training centres in Africa, Central America and the Pacific and overseeing the ITF’s Grand Slam touring team programme which involved 150+ players per year and included Gustavo Kuerten, Marcos Baghdadis, Grigor Dimitrov, Victoria Azarenka, Li Na, Hyeon Chung and Cara Black.

Dave established the ITF’s coach education programme in 1993 and was involved in producing the ITF’s recommended syllabi for coaches which is now available in over 20 languages. He started the publication “ITF Coaching and Sports Science review” in 1992 and was the author of 7 tennis books including the ITF Advanced Coaches Manual, the ITF Schools Tennis Initiative Teachers Manual and Developing Young Tennis Players. He also was responsible for the creation of the tennis i-coach which was launched in 2007 as the ITF’s distance learning platform. He oversaw the growth of the ITF Worldwide Coaches Conference which grew from 100 coaches in 1991 to 850+ coaches from 100 + nations in 2013. Dave has presented at many conferences worldwide including the Worldwide Coaches Conference, the European Coaches Conference, the USTA, LTA and Tennis Australia national conferences as well as at various IOC and Peace and Sport conferences.

In the area of tennis participation, Dave chaired the ITF Intro to Tennis Task Force which was instrumental in the development and implementation of the ITF “Tennis…Play and Stay” campaign to increase tennis participation which was launched in 2007 and for the development of tennis 10s and for the adult programme tennis express.  This led to the Tennis10s rule change in 2010 which mandated that 10 and under competition use one of the slower red, orange or green balls. He also was responsible for the development of the International Tennis Number (ITN) which was launched in 2003 in Australia as the rating system for world tennis.

Before working at the ITF, Dave owned and ran an indoor tennis and fitness centre in Kent with 6 indoor courts and 25 employees. On the playing side Dave was a Irish National Champion in 1982, 1984 and 1987.

Dave holds a Bachelor of Commerce from UCD (82) and a degree in Business and economics from Lander University in South Carolina, USA (81). He holds the top coaching qualification from the British LTA (84).

Dave was a member of the ITF medical commission (98-2015) and the Tennis Industry Association (2008-2015).

Thank you to our sponsor! Thank you, too, to STØNE for our music! You can find more of his music at   


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