Serena Williams Advises Simone Biles On How To Protect Her Mental Health As An Athlete

Tennis champions Serena and Venus Williams shared 'life advice' with Simone Biles on how to protect their mental health amid the pressures of being an athlete.

Serena Williams explained to Simone Biles how she protects her mental health during the Nov. 17 episode of the Facebook Watch show, Red Table Talk. As Will Smith took over hosting duties for Jada Pinkett Smith to discuss his role in King Richard as Richard Williams, the father of Serena and her sister Venus Williams, Will invited several celebrities including the 24-year-old gymnastic champion to pay tribute to the legendary sister duo.

Simone made her surprise appearance and asked the Olympic gold medal-winning sisters the one piece of “life advice” they could share as to how they “keep going especially when you need a mental health break.”

Serena Williams Simone Biles
Serena Williams shared advice on how to get a ‘mental health break’ during the Nov. 17 episode of Facebook Watch’s ‘Red Table Talk’ (Shutterstock)

Serena responded, “That’s a good question, Simone, and with gymnastics that huge moment is once every four years. Our huge moment is four times, every year. So for us if we needed a break — I remember one time in 2006 I just took the whole year off. For me when it comes to like Grand Slams, sometimes I push maybe too far. I just always keep going.”

Venus added, “Athletes live very unbalanced lives and for me just to have a moment alone. It can be, I don’t know, watching something silly. Just for like an hour, half hour, and that kind of balances me out. It’s a silly, simple thing, but then it helps me get ready for the next day. I think just asking yourself, ‘How do I want to remember this moment? How do I want to handle this moment. When I look back in 10 years, how will I feel about this?’ I think life is about failures. You fail and it’s OK.”

Venus Serena Williams
Serena and Venus Williams chatted with Will Smith on ‘Red Table Talk’ (Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock)

Simone also gushed over the tennis champions and explained “the huge impact” they made on her life.  “The impact that Venus and Serena have made not only in sports, but in life, have made a huge impact on my entire career. They’ve paved the way for Black athletes, as well as Black women. I can’t thank them enough and I’m really grateful that I have them to look up to,” she said.

As many will remember, Team USA took a major hit when Simone withdrew from the team finals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She explained that mental health issues led to her decision. “Just, my pride is hurt a little bit,” Simone admitted. “After the performance that I did, I didn’t want to go into the other events, so I thought I would take a step back.” She confirmed that she would be taking a ‘mental health day’ on July 28, and revealed that she’s been seeing a therapist to help with her struggles. “I have to focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being,” she concluded.

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