This is a story about Alexis.
We play our best tennis when we have good thoughts in our mind, so I asked Alexis to tell me more about her Father, during a lesson.
Her face lit up and she told me all about his professional life as a Technology Consultant.
She then proceeded to play the best tennis of her incipient tennis career, crushing several, clean forehands deep into the corners of the court.
Raising thoughts about her Dad clearly helped her perform better.
Subsequently, a group or family of seven or eight tennis players came out to the courts and the dynamic quickly changed, she missing as many shots as she previously had made.
I explained to her that people watching her play does significantly mute her mental focus - the key is to simply accept that they are present, relax and continue hitting her shots.
Once achieved, I further added that she can even use the crowd to her advantage by thinking about things that she has in common with them, either individually or collectively, whatever that may be - it is different to each player - and develop a positive attitude and sense of confidence that way.
Jimmy Connors really mastered this skill.