Sports & Gaming

Maturing as a Gymnast

Simone Biles

Lesson time 06:14 min

Simone closes with thoughts on what taking a break from her sport meant to her as both a maturing athlete and a young adult. She encourages gymnasts to lean on their family for support.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Take a Break to Regain Passion • Relying on Family Support


[MUSIC PLAYING] - My journey after the Olympics, I was very physically and mentally exhausted. So that's why I decided to take the time off that I needed to recuperate not only my body, but my mind as well and to almost be just a teenager for a while because I missed out all of those years of going to prom and stuff. And I don't regret any of it. But I feel like I really got the time to get to know myself on my year off and just to relax finally. My family and I traveled a lot. We went swimming with sharks, cliff jumping. We went zip lining. We did some stuff that I couldn't do while I was training for the fear of getting injured. There were some weekends where I actually had a break, and I had time off. And I would wake up in the middle of the night. I was like, do I have this tomorrow? Because I was so used to having a schedule. Our jobs as gymnasts, we have a lot of routine work in and out of the gym. Our lives kind of become a routine daily over and over and over. It's kind of repetitive. And it was kind of odd waking up and not having to go to practice, or not having a set schedule for that day. And that was really the only thing that freaked me out. But besides that, it was just to let loose. I think it's very important to take breaks for your mental and your physical well-being because we're always here. And you just need to give your body and your mind a rest sometimes. I had to learn a lot about myself on that year off. But a lot of the time, I just learned about being independent and being my own person and finding out who I am without anybody telling me who I should be. And I think that was the biggest awakening that I got. [MUSIC PLAYING] So before the Olympics, whenever I decided to take the time off, it was still a decision that I was going to come back. It was just when I was going to come back. And then we saw some other gymnasts come back a year before. And we figured let's give ourselves some more time to get back in shape, routine shape, and get your body and your mind healthy again. I was surprised at how weak I was during conditioning once we started that process of getting back in shape because I knew I could do it. But it was just like getting my body to connect with my mind. And it just-- the disconnect was there, definitely. So it was hard conditioning-wise. But skill-wise, it kind of came naturally back again. And it was not moving too fast and getting back too fast, really taking your time to ease back into everything so that you don't get injured. To be completely honest, I thought I had reached my max capacity of competing skill level at 2016 in Rio. And so whenever I came back, there were doubts in my mind of how can I get better? I know I've trained some of these skills. But I would never put them in a set because it's too dangerous, and it's too hard, and why if I was already winning? And so we sat down with my coaches, Cecile and Laurent, kind of built a plan around it. And then we star...

About the Instructor

At 22, Simone Biles is already a legend. With 14 medals, including 10 gold, Simone is the most decorated World Championship American gymnast of all time. Now the Olympic gymnast—part of the gold-medal-winning USA gymnastics "Final Five"—breaks down her techniques for vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor. Discover how Simone performs under pressure, learn to practice like a champion, and claim your competitive edge.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Simone Biles

Gold-winning Olympic gymnast Simone Biles teaches her training techniques—from beginner to advanced—so you can practice like a champion.

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