MEET THE DIRECTORS
Vanessa Pardo-Costeines – Session 1-2: June 21-July 1, 2021
Vanessa is a former professional tour player from Aix en Provence, France. She was selected at age 12 to represent and train with the French Federation for the next 6 years.
In France, Vanessa was in the top 5 in the Juniors and participated in professional ITF and WTA tournaments with wins in the top #100 and under and won two National Championships.
Vanessa played #1 Singles and both #1 & 2 Doubles for Virginia Tech on a full athletic scholarship. She helped her team to win the Atlantic Championship for four consecutive years. She was the first women’s tennis player in Atlantic 10 history to earn Most Outstanding Performer and Most Outstanding Rookie Performer honors in the same season 1996. She majored with a degree in Marketing & Business Management, International Business with a minor in Spanish. After graduation she lived in Washington, DC where she worked in the corporate world as a business developer.
The opportunity to have had a career in both as an elite athlete and in the corporate world has given Vanessa a greater understanding of how to relate to both environments from a work ethic, performance and leadership position. Vanessa is the founder of Le Tennis Academy, her philosophy integrates mental and physical conditioning with tennis fundamentals. Her hands-on teaching approach will help players rapidly progress and unleash players’ natural ability by including eye-tracking, movement efficiency and mindset factors that improve performance and self-confidence.
Vanessa is a member and certified as Mental Toughness Coach, ITPA Tennis Performance Trainer, USPTR, Women’s Tennis Coaching Association. Billie Jean King Eye Coach advising team.
USTA CT Board of Directors (2018-2020)
John Harvey – Session 3-5: July 5-July 23, 2021
John Harvey holds a USTA Recreational Certification and he has been the Head Coach of the Fairfield Warde Boys Tennis Program since 2015. In 2018, John was awarded the FCIAC Tennis Coach of the Year for his efforts at Fairfield Warde.
Prior to his time at Fairfield Warde, John spent the summers of 2008-2013 working both the adidas and Nike Tennis Camps. After working at those tennis camps, John worked as the Teaching Pro at The Country Club of Fairfield from 2014-2018. Altogether, John Harvey has over 14 years of tennis teaching experience.
Before transitioning to coaching, he was captain of the Sacred Heart University Tennis Team. Over his 4 years at SHU, he was a two-time NEC Conference Champion and appeared in two Division I NCAA Tournaments.
John still personally competes at a high level as a tennis tournament player. Outside of tennis, John works as an elementary school teacher in the Fairfield Public Schools. John graduated from Sacred Heart University with bachelor’s degree in 2011 and continued his studies to receive his master’s in education in 2012 and a 6th Year Certificate of Advanced Study in Administration.
Paula Zabala – Session 6-8: July 25-August 13, 2021
Former Professional Tennis Player and Montessori Educator.
Born in Colombia, Paula relocated to the United States at age 12. Since then she has been fully involved in the tennis field. Paula was consistently a nationally ranked tennis player and received a scholarship to attend Florida International University.
After graduating with a Psychology and Business Degree Paula turned pro and joined the WTA tour where she earned rankings of WTA #368 in singles and #312 in doubles. Paula played on the Fed Cup team for Colombia in 2010. After her professional tennis professional, Paula became a PTR Certified Tennis Professional and has 13 years of tennis teaching experience with both adults and junior players of all levels.
Paula joined the Beyond Camps Team in 2011, serving as the Assistant Director for various summers as well as working for successful tennis junior programs in New York City where she met Director Michael Filipek.
Paula obtained her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and has 6 years of experience as a Montessori Educator.
Paula’s Montessori experience allows her to seek how to best interact with each particular student’s personality, learning methods and athletic ability to help each student feel proud of his or her increasing skills.
Paula brings her passion and lifetime experiences as a player, coach and educator to Beyond Camps. Your child is in amazing hands with Paula!
Michael Filipek – Session 6-8: July 25-August 13, 2021
Paula Zabala will be on site each day working with campers. Michael Filipek will work with Paula to create the curriculum and will be on site occasionally to work with campers.
In his 14th year of directing camps, Michael Filipek is the founder and director of Beyond Camps (formerly known as Michael Filipek Tennis & Sports Academy). He was born and raised in central Connecticut and as a player, he was twice the #1 ranked junior tennis player in all of New England.
Michael was consistently a nationally ranked tennis player and received a scholarship to attend Indiana University. He captained the tennis team at Indiana and graduated in 1997. He subsequently gained professional tour experience in both the United States and Europe.
As a coach, Michael is a USPTA Certified Tennis Professional and has fifteen years of full time teaching tennis experience. He is the Head Tennis Professional & Junior Development Director at Tennis in Manhattan operating three clubs in New York City and his Junior Development Program is the largest and most successful junior program in Manhattan.
Michael brings his passion and lifetime tennis experience as a player and a coach to the adidas Tennis Camps making this an excellent choice for a tennis camp in Connecticut. His enthusiastic and caring style inspires players of all ages and levels.
Additional staff will consist of current and former college players, high school coaches, college coaches, USPTA and USPTR certified coaches.