Matt Whitehead started playing tennis at age 7, competing in USTA tournaments by age 10. He began teaching as a teenager, during which time he taught private lessons in Stamford CT, and thereafter was invited to teach at a local YMCA in Greenwich CT, and then at Sunningdale Country Club in Scarsdale, NY. From an early age he split time between his passion (basketball) and his gift (tennis) before matriculating to Yale University. At Yale Matt was a 4-year starter on the basketball team and played tennis his freshmen year, although he continued to teach tennis each summer, except his junior year when he was selected by Athletes in Action to represent the USA on a tour to Russia and Yugoslavia.
With his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, he worked in several countries for a global consulting firm and as an entrepreneur before reconnecting with the tennis scene in 2009, as a player, coach and mentor. Highlights include:
- Trained with Oscar Wegner, one of the pioneers of modern tennis and former coach of Gustavo (Gugga) Kuerten (Hall of Famer and 3-time French Open Champion). Matt was featured in one of his most highly viewed YouTube video segments.
- Regularly competed against the top players locally and Nationally, ending 2014 with a USTA National #4 ranking in the 40s singles and rising to a national top 10 ranking in 50s singles and doubles in 2016.
- Chosen as an alternate for the 2015 USA Trabert Cup Team.
- Hosted and provided video analysis and feedback for upcoming tour player Sekou Bangoura (who reached a high of #232 in the world) after competing against him in the Del Rey Beach ATP Wild Card event.
- Participated in a humanitarian trip to Malawi, Africa where he conducted tennis clinics for orphaned youngsters.
- Was the Elite Director at Paseo, where he led the Elite Tournament Training group and in addition established a homeschool group of top juniors.
Matt is MTM (Modern Tennis Methodology) Level 4 Clinician/Tester Certified and is a member of MTM Coaches Association. He coaches and provides tournament support for an array of juniors across all age groups and levels. Matt also works with several adult teams who qualified for USTA Sectional Championships, works with a WTT (World Team Tennis) adult team that has won the right to compete in upcoming National Qualifiers, and works with individuals who qualified for and competed in Nationals at the 3.0 and 3.5 levels.
In addition to being a lifelong fitness enthusiast himself, Matt has cross-trained athletes in other sports and employs strength and conditioning, movement and balance elements into his tennis drilling and private lessons for all levels. For tournament juniors and advanced players he incorporates video analysis, along with tactical and point construction strategies.
Jason Lee grew up in sunny Southern California playing many sports, but slowly gravitated to volleyball like his Father and sisters who played volleyball at Pepperdine and UCLA respectively. In high school he was an All-American junior player and highly sought after recruit. In college at Loyola Marymount University he led his Division 1 volleyball program to the highest ranking in the history of the school (#6 nationally).
After college Jason played volleyball professionally for 8 years on the AVP (Pro Beach Volleyball Tour) playing with the likes of Karch Kiraly (Gold Medalist), Reid Priddy (Gold Medalist and best friend) and Dain Blanton (Gold Medalist). Jason and his wife Karen started a family along the way and now have four kids who all play tennis. Jason has a passion for coaching and previously led a varsity high school team to a state championship where he was awarded CIF coach of the year.
As the family grew Jason and his family quickly fell in love with the game of tennis and Jason developed quickly as a high level tennis player. Upon seeing Jason and his kids play, many young families have approached Jason to coach their kids. Jason is MTM certified and has applied the holistic development process he learned in playing and coaching volleyball as well as the technical philosophies and progressions of both Matt and MTM to become a passionate and successful tennis coach. His approach is holistic and pastoral, caring for the uniqueness of every individual person as well as there overall success in sport and in life. Jason has coached USTA Junior Team Tennis for 3 years now and most recently led his 12 and under team to win the Junior Section Championships for all of SoCal.
Eric Spiecker comes to Mission Tennis Academy with broad and diverse experience as both a player and coach. Eric is MTM certified to go along with being USPTA certified for 10 years. Eric played competitively for 3-time state champion New Trier High School in Winnetka IL 1982-1986. He then started for the Westmont College tennis team 1987-1990. He has coached beginning and tournament level players for over 25 years at clubs including Glenview Tennis Club, Indian Hills Country Club, Northwestern University, The Alisal Tennis Club, and The Paseo Club.
He most recently retired after over 10 years coaching the West Ranch High School Varsity Boys and Girls tennis teams. During his tenure as the girl’s coach, he led the girl’s team to 3 Foothill League Championships, 2 consecutive CIF semi-finals and a CIF #1 ranking for the Southern Section. As the boy’s tennis coach, he led the boys to 5 consecutive league titles and 2 CIF quarterfinal appearances, and a top 10 ranking in CIF Division 1. Currently, he teaches English at West Ranch High School and works privately with tournament level players in the Valley.
Kevin Kascoutas grew up in the Santa Clarita Valley and began playing tennis at 7 years old. Starting with playing on weekends with his family and friends, he would eventually be competing in local and USTA tournaments by age 9. Playing many sports when he was growing up, tennis was ultimately the sport that Kevin focused on as he got into junior high and high school. As one of the top junior players in the SCV at his age, Kevin made the varsity team at Hart High as a freshman. Playing on the varsity team all four years, he was the number one player during his junior and senior seasons, the Foothill League singles runner up his senior season, and earned All CIF honors his senior year as well. After high school he went on to play at Santa Barbara City College where he was the number one player on the team. Having to cut his collegiate playing career short because of injuries, Kevin spent about a decade away from tennis while working in Executive Recruiting and the Mortgage Industry.
Kevin started playing tennis again in 2007 and quickly realized his passion for the game never left and he began coaching tennis within a year. He started teaching classes through the parks and rec and also taught private lessons. He then went on to work as a tennis pro at the Paseo Club and coached the Valencia High JV boys and girls teams in 2008 and 2009. Since 2008, Kevin has coached players of all levels and ages. From young kids just picking up a racquet for the first time, to more experienced players competing in tournaments or trying to make their high school team, he has had the opportunity to help mentor and guide them to the next level. Kevin is MTM certified and his motivation as a tennis coach is to help people develop a love and passion for the game that he has had his entire life.
Sean Salvino grew up playing tennis in the Philippines at age 7 on courts across the street from his house. A typical afternoon consisted of him hitting baskets of balls with his dad until his teenage years. That hard work led to national tournament success in the Philippines.
After having a family and kids, Sean decided to pick up the racket again and join USTA tournaments where he was bumped up to 5.0 level player after one season.
Sean has drilled with Matt for a number of years and employs many of the MTM techniques into his game. Sean is now one of the best tennis players in the Santa Clarita Valley and regularly plays with a number of the better juniors in the area. When he is not coaching and playing tennis he is raising two daughters who are nationally competitive swimmers. Sean is MTM certified and a regular working with the younger group.