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Simone Biles: Models of Motivational Mindsets

At the young age of 19, Simone Biles became the most decorated gymnast in U.S. history. She is undoubtedly the most dominant gymnast today and is often recognized as the greatest of all time. Her incredible performance has led many to wonder what led her to this incomparable success.

In a November 2016 BUILD Series interview, Biles reveals the mindset that led her to success. Listening to this interview revealed to us that components of her mindset align with several aspects of the Pro Mindset® as described by veteran NFL agent Craig Domann and host of Pro Mindset Podcast. Let’s find out what we can learn from this comparison.


Quote: “I did want to be good at bars, but I just couldn’t do it… so I was like, okay, I need to stop not liking bars and I need to work extra hard on it. So I [took private lessons and put in] extra hours. [I did the] basics to get everything better, and it started to come along.”

Simone touches on how she overcame her fear of bars. While she struggled with the particular skill initially and wanted to avoid it, she realized that in order to become a better gymnast, she would have to work extra hard to turn this weakness into a strength. In order to do so, she had to put in hours upon hours of extra training on top of her already rigorous training regimen.

Training is an indispensable aspect of Pro Mindset. While effective training may look different for different athletes, it is a crucial ingredient in the recipe for success. For Simone, effective training meant she had to stay at the gym after everyone else had left in order to refine her skills on the bars. Without this type of training, she wouldn’t have become the complete gymnast that she is today.


Quote: “I kept asking my mom to figure out something—I [thought there was] a way for me to go to public school and do [gymnastics]. But there was no possible way…so [I got] a private teacher and I realized, ‘How many kids can say they get to represent their country rather than going to public school?’”

When asked about the difficulties of missing out on the typical high school experience, Simone revealed that she struggled with the decision she had to make regarding her schooling in order to pursue a career in gymnastics. While initially she was hesitant in switching to homeschooling, she soon realized that this was a necessary sacrifice to make in order to create a lifestyle that would allow her to become the best gymnast she could.

Lifestyle is one of the seven keys of Pro Mindset. Without a regimented lifestyle, no amount of athleticism will allow an athlete to perform at the highest level on game day. Often, the lifestyle of a top athlete requires many sacrifices, as it can be seen in Simone’s case. However, her lifestyle is what ultimately led her to gain the title of the most decorated gymnast in U.S. history.

Training and lifestyle are just two components of the mindset that led Simone to success. These components are also two of the seven keys of Pro Mindset. To learn about the rest of the keys to the Pro Mindset, check out the Pro Mindset Podcast here.

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