Sports & Gaming

Overcoming Fear

Simone Biles

Lesson time 6:39 min

Even the most decorated World Championship American gymnast of all time can feel nervous. Simone offers tips for getting out of your head during moments of fear and shares what confidence means to her.

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

Topics include: Embrace Nervous Energy • Turn Adrenaline Into Power • Be Confident in Your Routine


[MUSIC PLAYING] WOMAN: I have had fears over the years of my career. Fear is something that I do not like. If I become fearful of a skill for a second, I'll try to count to three and check myself and do it because that's how much I hate fear. I hate that it will stop you, and it almost puts a block in your track of what you're trying to do. But it mainly goes down to trusting yourself in your gymnastics, starting back up with drills, spotting back, starting back up with your coaches spotting you. And I think that's really helpful tips that can go a long way. But whenever I was younger, I was terrified of Tkachev bars, and I wouldn't do it. It took me, like, months to go for one because I had an incident where it kind of went crazy, and I, like, landed on the bar. It wasn't great. And so I was really afraid of that skill. So we went back to the basics and the fundamentals of that skill to work my way back up so that I wasn't fearful of it anymore. If you're fearful of any skill, I would say to go all the way back to the fundamentals of that skill. Set up some drills. Ask your coach if they can spot you so that you gain confidence in that skill again. I tried to watch or videotape of whenever I did that skill good, and that always gets me out of that fearful funk because your coach, again, would never ask you to do something that you're not capable of. Personally, I also saw a sports psychologist, and that helped me a lot in my mental training. I feel like every time I step out onto the floor, whether it's in the gym or at a competition, I try to go back to what he's taught me-- changing my breathing levels, trying to remember it's just one competition and one event at a time and not to get too ahead of myself. I feel like nervousness is you start to overthink. You get a little bit shaky, and you might even start shaking, and you lack confidence in every skill you're about to do. Still get nervous on competition days because every competition is a new day, is a new chance to prove to yourself you can do it and to prove to everybody else what your training was like and what you're made of. I feel like whenever I'm at my most nervous, it's usually on the way to the competition. And I feel like I start shaking, and I get a little bit ahead myself, and I start going through my routines over and over. So that's why I like to listen to music going to the venue. And I feel like once I'm in the venue, all my nerves go away because it's like I'm finally there. This is the moment I've been training for. And then, as of once the competition starts, I'm my most nervous before I salute because it's that anticipation of waiting and waiting. When is my turn? When am I going to go? And once I usually salute and I start on whatever equipment it is, my nerves usually go away. Once I salute, I'm in control of everything that happens. And whatever outcome is whatever outcome of what I've performed. Whenever I talk to the girls about...

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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