The sporting world is highly demanding and competitive and topping up that pressure, it’s all in the spotlight which can be quite draining.
Venus and Serena Williams appeared on The Red Table Talk where the icons offered heartfelt advice touching on mental health and self-care to Simone Biles as well as other athletes.
It’s no news that the new generational game-changing athletes like Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles have been open and advocating for mental health. Back in the day, Venus and Serena Williams’ father, Richard Williams stood his ground protecting his baby girls. Once, he had to interject himself to protect a then 14-year-old Venus from a reporter who seemingly tried to intimidate and question her athletic ability. That intense moment registered, enabling her see the need to understand her confidence. Looking back, the 41-year-old former no. 1 says it was something their father instilled in his daughters when they were little kids.
“My dad made us answer questions like: Why does a rich man get richer and the poor man gets poorer? Meanwhile, you’re like five years old and you have to answer. You can’t say ‘I don’t know.’ Venus recalled going down memory lane in her childhood days.
“So we were long prepared for the pressures that we would deal with in life before we, like, stepped into these interviews or stepped into a classroom or wherever. You find pressure.”
Later in the interview, Simone Biles appeared virtually to ask Venus and Serena for any life advice they could give her.
“Athletes live very unbalanced lives. For me, having a moment alone maybe watching, I don’t know, something silly just for like an hour, half an hour, and that kind of balances me out,” Venus said.
“It’s a silly, simple thing, but then it helps me get ready for the next day. That’s my prep for the next day. I think just asking yourself a question, like how do I want to remember this moment? How do I want to handle this moment? If I look back in 10 years, how will I feel about this?”
Serena Williams further said athletes should embrace losses as it offers the opportunity to become better.
“I become my best player every time I lose. I learn from what happened in that loss and I generally try to really make leaps and bounds from that loss.”
“I think sometimes people are afraid to lose if they start winning, or they’re afraid to fail. But that doesn’t; I don’t even like the word. Like, it’s not a failure. it’s just, like, you slipped, and then you’ll get back up.”