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Shaky Foundation with Dave Mullins

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Welcome to Season 8, Episode 8 of the ParentingAces Podcast!

In this week’s episode, former college coach, Dave Mullins, joins us from Ireland to talk about what we should really be looking at in terms of player development. Dave recently wrote a 2-part article on this topic (see and which also appeared on the Tennis Recruiting website.

Dave lived in the US for many years – coaching at DePaul, Northwestern, and University of Oklahoma – before returning to Ireland to raise his family. He is now working with the Irish Tennis Federation as well as coaching individual players and playing a bit himself. Dave provides the ParentingAces Community with an honest look at player development, college recruiting, and life beyond tennis. We are lucky to have access to his vast experience and in-depth knowledge of our sport! 

You can reach Dave via email at

Thank you to my son, Morgan Stone, aka STØNE, for our new intro and outro music this season! You can find more of his music at If you’re interested in House Music, please be sure to check out his social media channels: FacebookTwitterInstagram.

If you’re so inclined, please share this – and all our episodes! – with your tennis community. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or via the ParentingAces website. This podcast – and all of the work ParentingAces does – is supported by donations from our audience. If you are getting value from these podcasts, please consider making a donation – any size is much appreciated! – through PayPal here. You can also support ParentingAces by clicking on the ads on our right sidebar. Thank you!

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One thought on “Shaky Foundation with Dave Mullins

  1. Nice podcast. The latest huge obstacle for coaches trying to develop players is Universal Tennis Rating or UTR. Players and parents have become obsessed with it the last few years as they know college coaches use it. The problem is the calculation of UTR includes games won/lost vs higher/lower rated players. We used to see players who were better go for some shots, expand their game, and beat a lesser player maybe 6-3,6-2. Now every good player feels the pressure to win 6-0, 6-0 or close to it. We see more pushing, caution, less going for it. I think this will greatly decrease junior development over time.

    Also Lisa, I see you are into the new Transitional Tour debate. I agree the ITF went too far but the old system was ridiculous. 26 and 31 year old players traveling with parent’s money to play futures after futures and losing match after match is not professional sports reality. We saw so many players ranked 450-550 who were not as good as others ranked 700. The wealthy parents were able to chase points around the globe. Tennis is in fierce competition with many other pulls on people’s time and money. The fact is most spectators only care about top 20 players. below that there has to be a feeder system of a few hundred players. But the old system was silly compared to any other professional sport. Pro sports is a brutal reality, if you are not good enough to make a profit at basketball or soccer by age 20-22, you are going to have to get another job.

    Again, I think the ITF is now too restrictive….but the old system of allowing players to keep playing futures forever, even those who lose match after match, was wrong too. Tennis attracts quite a few entitled parents and players, The reality of life is in any profession, if you are not rising up the ranks in a steady way, you are out. Professional tennis should be no different. Also, those that ARE good enough to be ranked top 300 should make more money now. Before there were so many players, no one was making money below 250 or so. But the fact is, its professional tennis…professional means you make money at a sport. No way should players who rarely win, and never make money, be allowed to keep playing professional tennis forever. Thats just a fantasy land that does not reflect the real world.

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