I feel a little unworthy setting foot on a tennis court named after one of the most decorated athletes of my generation with skills that can barely keep a friendly game of ping pong going past the opening serve. But as the training session with instructor Alex Praderas at the Rafa Nadal Tennis Centre kicks off, I quickly learn that it’s not just elite athletes who hone their skills here.
Guests from all over the world staying at the adjacent Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa and the adults-only TRS Coral Hotel opt to take daily classes and programming suited to every skill level — even humble beginners — with sessions led by instructors trained at the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar in Spain.
Over the next two hours we learn basic backhand and forehand techniques to get a feel for the sport, take part in skill-building challenges and eventually work our way up to a friendly rally. With a noticeable improvement after just one session, I’m tempted to carve out daily time away from lounging poolside or on the beach for these immersive lessons.