Venus and Serena Williams Give Simone Biles Advice on Mental Health: 'Life Is About Failures'

The tennis stars discussed how they stay “balanced” and talk themselves through tough moments on Red Table Talk

Venus and Serena Williams are opening up about mental health in conversation with the next generation.

The tennis stars appeared on Wednesday's episode of Facebook Watch's Red Table Talk alongside host Will Smith where they spoke about their new film, King Richard. On the show, the Williams sisters gave advice to seven-time Olympic medalist Simone Biles, who famously spoke about her mental health struggles at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Biles, 24, appeared virtually on the show to ask Venus, 41, and Serena, 40, about how they keep going, specifically when they need a mental health break.

Venus explained that "athletes live very unbalanced lives" and when she needs a break, she likes to take a moment to herself to relax and watch something silly as a way to "balance me out" and prepare for what's next.

"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?" the seven-time Grand Slam winner offered, and her younger sister agreed.

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Serena Williams</a> on Red Table Talk
Alan Silfen / Red Table Talk

Venus said that it's important to remember that "life is about failures" and that failing is okay to do, adding, "Because even when you look back in those 10 years, even if you fail, if you just gave it your all with what you had that day, that's still perfectly fine."

Meanwhile, Serena told Biles that valuable lessons come from losses, and that she becomes "my best player every time I lose."

"I think sometimes people are afraid to lose if they start winning, or they're afraid to fail," the 23-time Grand Slam champ said. "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."

Simone Biles; Venus Williams; <a href="" data-inlink="true">Serena Williams</a>
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic (3)

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Venus then chimed in, "And I think a lot of it, too, is just taking out whatever the hell other people think. When you let go of that, you are free."

Over the summer, Biles made headlines for exiting four out of five women's gymnastic finals at this year's Summer Games. She cited intense pressure and a case of the "twisties" — a disorienting condition gymnasts can experience when they lose air awareness, putting them at risk for injury when they land.

At the time, Biles explained she withdrew from the competition to focus on her mental health, saying on social media that her "mind & body are simply not in sync."

Simone Biles
Laurence Griffiths/Getty

While chatting with PEOPLE in August, Biles spoke about prioritizing mental health in and out of sports culture, which taught many to push through struggles to achieve peak performance.

"Sometimes when we speak on these things, then we become the face of it. I'm not sure if I'm completely ready for that aspect of it," she said of the attention.

"Over the years, obviously, since I've been so dominant everybody supports the gymnastics and praised me for what I've done in the gym and not really outside," the athlete added. "Then once I took a step back, I obviously was expecting to feel a lot of backlash and embarrassment. But it's the complete opposite. That's the first time I felt human. Besides Simone Biles, I was Simone, and people kind of respected that."

Want to get the biggest stories from PEOPLE every weekday? Subscribe to our new podcast, PEOPLE Every Day, to get the essential celebrity, entertainment and human interest news stories Monday through Friday.

When asked last month about a moment that "marked you the most in your career," Biles said "2021. Having the courage to take care & put myself first."

"16-year-old Simone would never," the four-time Olympic gold medalist added.

Related Articles