Shula’s Athletic Club—named for Don Shula, the NFL Hall of Famer who coached the Miami Dolphins to a Super Bowl trophy in 1972—doesn’t find it hard to fill its sprawling 40,000 square feet of space. A cardio room with more than 50 pieces of equipment, a spinning center, weight rooms, fitness-class studios, and basketball courts spread through the facility, luring athletes for independent workouts and personal-training sessions. Dozens of weekly fitness classes range from calorie-burning Zumba workouts and Vinyasa-yoga sessions to spin classes that help students practice for the day they have pedal-powered cars.
The athletic club also accommodates older exercisers with aquatic aerobics and seated Silver Sneakers workouts, and it keeps kids busy with confidence-building youth sports programs. Young legs run over a new 60-yard athletic field or nine lighted tennis courts where kids whack tennis balls and low-flying hot-air balloons with rackets.
On the home turf of top tour pros and two national tournaments, tennis titans battle across Lauderdale Tennis Club’s 20 meticulously groomed Har-Tru clay courts and unwind in the club’s many luxurious amenities. Situated in a gated community minutes from downtown, the club’s lush, garden-like setting provides ample space for expert racket swingers to perfect their forehands and for jealous rookies to perfect their backhanded compliments. Eight of the club’s 20 courts are lit year-round for night play, ensuring the cross-court action continues during evening hours and any unforeseen solar eclipses. Patrons can relax with the club’s many additional amenities, such as the large swimming pool, hot tub, and a recently revamped clubhouse with all-new locker rooms and showers, a pro shop, and a well-stocked fitness center. With two dining options, patrons can keep up with volleys on the patio bar overlooking the center court, or fill up on comfort fare and NFL action at the satellite-equipped sports bar.
In 1986, Jane Forman stood on tennis' Mount Olympus—Centre Court at Wimbledon—and traded blows with an immortal: the legendary Martina Navratilova. Three years later, Jane—who soared into the world top 50 in her career—decided she'd rather impart her skills to others than continue playing professionally. So she founded Jane Forman Tennis Academy, where she links kids and adults alike with USPTA- and PTR-certified instructors to learn the rules of the game and hone their technique. The tennis pros tailor their curriculums to pupils' ability levels, helping them improve their serve, footwork, and most intimidating Gaelic battle cry. Private lessons are also available with Jane or another veteran of the hard court.
The head instructors at Cañas Tennis haven’t just played on the sport’s grandest stages—they’ve won. In a professional career that dates back to 1995, co-director of player development Guillermo Cañas scored wins over the likes of Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, and Marat Safin on his way to seven ATP singles titles, two doubles titles, three appearances in the quarterfinals of the French Open, and a top ranking of 8th in the world. Fellow director of player development Martin Garcia snatched eight career doubles titles on the ATP Tour, and both players represented their home country of Argentina in Davis Cup competition. Today, the two put their winning wisdom to work as instructors at Cañas Tennis, where they offer lessons and clinics for players of all ages and abilities.
Broward Table Tennis Club's spacious ping-pong studio boasts 16 tabletop courts where mini-tennis buffs can practice their game and face off with competitors on any day of the week. Ample lighting, high ceilings, and red rubber floors provide plenty of room for honing complicated curve balls and perfecting slam serves. The club also has a lounge area for relaxing between games; for an additional fee, you can play your part in the age-old contest of man vs. mandroid by taking on a Newgy Robo-Pong machine ($4 for 30 minutes; $8 for 60 minutes). Private lessons are also available from the center's world-class coaches.
Since 1986, Brian Lutz has taught a panoply of tennis players how to improve their game and savor the sport's social aspect. Over time, he honed his teaching techniques and eventually devised his own tennis curriculum. In 2003, that curriculum inspired him to launch TennisTip, a program where experienced instructors help adults and teens improve their tennis game through self-discovery and fundamental skills.
TennisTip instructors work to provide hands-off guidance and gentle inspiration, letting students discover their best game through strategic practice. Combined with tennis-specific cardio exercises and an emphasis on social bonding, the regimen seeks to form independent, effective, and affable players out of every student. Since first starting up in the Big Apple, TennisTip has expanded to a second location, where pros instill students with courtside skills amid the warm Miami sun and attentive pelican ball boys.