A lifetime of tennis has carried instructor Cliff McClain across the country—from Petaluma, California, where he was ranked #1 on the Casa Grande High School tennis team, to North Carolina State, where he played while studying. During lessons, the net specialist carefully assesses individual skills and works to improve existing form. Practical application begins as students field backhand and forehand shots from Cliff, who monitors each movement with a professional eye and provides feedback throughout each lesson, helping students learn to return balls quickly and consistently without having to swap brains with a labrador.
At Rhythm Tennis, students learn the ins and outs of the sport with one-on-one instruction from coach Greg, a San Francisco Men's Champion Division winner. Beginners learn to defeat competitors and screen the air for migrating cicadas by mastering fundamentals and strokes such as the forehand, backhand, and volley. Onsite tennis pros also restring rackets and offer tips and tricks on gear.
The fitness instructors, personal trainers, and nutritionists at ClubSport wield the foundations of total-body wellness: detailed knowledge and cutting-edge equipment. Group classes such as cardio kickboxing, cycling, and circuit training showcase routines for all fitness levels, seven days a week. Personal-training sessions, meanwhile, bring help exercisers develop their own fitness plans and face down the imaginary knight that guards every piece of weight-training equipment.
ClubSport also transforms bodies outside the fitness studio and weight room. A self-described resort-style aquatic center features several lap and exercise pools where swimmers can fine-tune their breaststrokes and favorite shark calls. At an on-site spa, massage therapists ease muscle tension with modalities ranging from hot stone and prenatal to trigger point and reflexology.
Since 1972, Spare Time Clubs has evolved into a 10-club, full-service family sports club company that includes programs for both adults and children. Each location varies in size—some boasting multiple complexes—and houses amenities such as lighted tennis courts, pools, kids’ play areas, and fitness centers. At the Diamond Hills and El Dorado Hills locations, members can shine up in the onsite European spas, and the jewel of the Gold River club is a lighted stadium court encircled by a 5,000 square-foot observation deck. In the event of inclement weather or courts being overrun by ball-chasing dogs, players can schedule time at the dedicated indoor-tennis center, where eight fully sectioned-off, championship courts glow under the power of tournament-level lighting. World-class coaches develop kids’ court skills at the junior tennis academy, students of which can practice with an unlimited number of sessions at any of Spare Time’s other clubs.
A knowledgeable staff that includes tennis instructors and former touring pros helps customers navigate the aisles of racket-sports equipment inside the two locations of Courtside Tennis & Apparel. A demo program lends out rackets from brands such as Babolat and Wilson for patrons to try out on the court or at John McEnroe–themed parties, and same-day stringing services get gear serve-worthy in a hurry.
At Del Norte Aquatics, three heated pools are located both indoors and outdoors, facilitating year-round practice and lessons. Using curriculum developed by the USA Olympic swimming team, the center's coaches teach swimmers of all ages and ability levels everything from flotation skills to basic, intermediate, and advanced strokes, transitioning through the caterpillar squirm and chrysalis float before learning the butterfly. Aside from instruction, Del Norte offers 20 aqua-fitness classes per week, which leverage water’s natural resistance to tone muscles during low-impact, challenging workouts.