OK, you're too old to be the next Rafael Nadal or Maria Sharapova. That doesn't mean you need to let your middling tennis game stay that way. A monthly matchup with your college roommate probably won't get you to the top of the amateur league, so consider a few days at a top-notch tennis camp. From old Amherst, Mass., to New Braunfels, Texas, these immersion clinics can help get your backhand to supersonic speed.
Hang Tough in Bradenton, Fla.
You can't knock the guy who helped Andre Agassi, the Williams sisters and Maria Sharapova swing their way to top-seed spots—even if his approach to coaching is somewhat militant. Nick Bollettieri and his staff of 50 run IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis program, which has one of the oldest adult tennis camps in the world, and they take their jobs seriously. "I went down there in shape, running five miles a day to prepare, and still I lost seven pounds in five days," said Thomas Del Zoppo, a Boston trader and Academy alumnus.
Players are on the court several hours a day, staying in condo facilities and sharing communal meals. The 450-acre campus includes a 10,000-square-foot gym, a sports-science institute and a 24/7 physical therapy center. Three-day camps focus on the mechanics of the game, from serving to ground strokes and specialty shots. "Max" weeks are reserved for more skilled players, and are seriously hard-core. From $850 for the three-day core program, imgacademies.com