Meet our Coaching Staff
A great tennis academy program starts with great coaches.
Valter Paiva | Head Pro
Valter Paiva is founder and director of the Valter Paiva Tennis Academy in Long Beach, CA. He is also the Head Pro at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center, where his Academy is located. Valter has over 25 years of experience in player development, including 8 years in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Valter started his coaching career at the age of 15 in his home country of Brazil. He gained invaluable experience at various academies including the prestigious Sociedade Harmonia de Tennis and Club Athletico Indiano in Sao Paulo, Brazil. During his early years of coaching, Valter won the Junior Brazilian National Championship back-to-back years. His talents as both a tennis player and a tennis coach were recognized and he earned a full tennis scholarship to Hampton University, a NCAA Division 1 school in the state of Virginia. During his college tennis career Valter was voted Player of the year three times in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. In addition to being a successful athlete at Hampton University, Valter helped the men’s and women’s tennis teams by designing workout programs and training routines to improve the athletic performance of the players. In 2005 Valter graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing, specializing in Professional Tennis Management.
Following college, Valter made his way to Southern California. He coached and organized tennis clinics at Regional Parks, La Habra Tennis Center, and Anaheim Tennis Center before opening the Valter Paiva Tennis Academy at Billie Jean King Tennis Center in 2007. Through his Academy, private lessons, and clinics, Valter has coached hundreds of tennis players. His vast tennis knowledge and international experience have helped him mold the games of many prominent Southern California Junior players throughout the years.
- 2018 Certified USPTA Elite Professional
- 2017 National Champion – Men’s 35 Singles
- 2015 National Champion Finalist – Men’s 35 Doubles
- 2013 National Champion – Men’s 35 Doubles
2009 USPTA Pro of the Year (Los Angeles district)
Jordan Strandness | Tennis Pro
When Jordan first picked up a racket it wasn’t on his own terms. He was 10 years old, and his mom had enrolled him in a tennis camp in Spokane, WA, where they lived.
Jordan begrudgingly attended, and to his surprise, he excelled at the sport and had fun! He soon became a top ranked junior in Washington state and earned a scholarship to Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. Jordan played all four years of college and was co-captain his senior year. He graduated in 2019 with a double major in English and Philosophy.
After college Jordan coached at a handful of tennis camps and gave some private lessons. In 2021 he brought his experience and enthusiasm to Valter’s team. One of Jordan’s specialties is communicating the complexities of the game in verbiage kids can understand. He strives to help young players problem solve on the court and achieve personal breakthroughs. Jordan’s upbeat attitude and positive energy radiate from him.
While he loves tennis and wants to keep it in his life, Jordan is also working to launch his writing career.
Kevin Diaz | Tennis Pro
Kevin Diaz learned the fundamentals of tennis at the Tennis Public Project in Brazil. It wasn’t long before Kevin began participating and excelling in junior tournaments around the country. As Kevin was aging out of juniors, he met the acclaimed with Carlos Omaki who connected him with Valter Paiva.
Coaching the next generation of tennis players is one of Kevin’s passions. He draws on his firsthand knowledge of the game as well as his personal experiences as a competitive player. Kevin will often open up to his students about his own ups and downs in tennis. His willingness to share his triumphs and struggles with those he coaches makes him relatable and approachable, which in turn builds trust between him and his students. Kevin’s personal approach offers him more opportunities to give his players customized guidance. One of Kevin’s favorite things about coaching is witnessing a young player break through their own boundaries.
Along with coaching at the Valter Paiva Tennis Academy, Kevin would like to earn a college degree.
Laetitia Paiva | General Manager
Laetitia comes to us from Paris, France. She is in charge of much of the administrative, customer service and client communication while Valter is on the court. She studied marketing in school and has always been an avid tennis player. Laetitia moved to California later on in life to live the American Dream! This is where she fell in love with the wonderful city of Long Beach, and of course, her husband, Valter Paiva.
Latetia truly loves working with people. She spent over 20 years in the service industry at Open Sesame, right here in Long Beach! While there, she was a waitress, shift leader and manager. IOne common goal that makes Laetitia and Valter both so successful is their love of working with children, helping them to grow and achieve to their fullest potential. She is so happy to call Long Beach home and is dedicated to making sure that all students and families are happy.
Lucas Diaz | Tennis Pro
Lucas Diaz was introduced to tennis through the Tennis Public Project in Brazil. His talent and joy for the game was quick to grow. It wasn’t long before he was winning prestigious tournaments and climbing the Brazilian junior rankings.
When he was a teenager, Lucas returned to the Tennis Public Project; he wanted to give back to the organization that ignited his passion for tennis. He spent time assisting the coaches and helping to inspire the next generation of Brazilian tennis players. This experience led him to the Paulistana Tennis Academy in Brazil, directed by the distinguished Carlos Omaki. It was here where Lucas’s coaching abilities and skills blossomed.
Lucas’s experience as a successful, competitive, junior tennis player boosts his capabilities as a coach. He intimately understands what players need to make improvements in their game. Most importantly, Lucas can easily flex his coaching strategy to match the varying learning styles and needs of his students.
In addition to coaching at the Valter Paiva Tennis Academy, Lucas desires to earn a college degree in computer science.
Maddie Tadd | Tennis Pro
Maddie first picked up a tennis racket when her family moved from Palm Springs, CA to Long Beach, CA. Her new friends in Long Beach played tennis, so she enrolled in Valter’s Summer Tennis Camp to give the sport a try. It was love at first swing.
Growing up Maddie trained at Valter’s After School Tennis Academy, participated in USTA junior tournaments, and played four years of Varsity tennis. She graduated Valedictorian in 2021 from Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, CA. Maddie is currently pre-biology at the University of Southern California, Santa Barbara, where she also plays club tennis.
Maddie brings personal experience, relatability, and passion to Valter’s coaching team. She began her tennis career in the exact programs she coaches, so it is easy for her to associate with the young players and visa versa. She creates a fun and exciting environment where they can flourish.
“I have been in all the students’ shoes. It was Valter’s Summer Tennis Camp that taught me how to be a tennis player. I know how valuable the coaches’ advice and mentorship is.” – Maddie Tadd
ate with honors, but she was also a proud member of the Chi Alpha Sigma National Collegiate Athlete Honor Society. While Michaela was a former Division I Tennis Player, she devoted an average of 40 hours per week of practice on the court. Her recent volunteer experience also includes working with students with special needs as well as teaching tennis to children of all skill levels.