A number of gymnasts have moves named after them in the FIG Code of Points, usually because they're the first to attempt and complete that skill. There's the "Memmel," named after Christine Memmel. There's the "Liukin," named after Nastia Liukin. 

And there's the "Biles," named after Simone Biles, who just won the women's all-around gold medal at the Rio Olympics. 

The "Biles" is a double layout with a half-twist and a blind landing. The move begins with a backward takeoff. Then she somersaults twice, head-over-heels, with her body in a straight, laid-out position. After the second somersault she rotates her body a half-turn and lands facing forward. 

Sound complicated? It is.

According to many, the half-turn at the end is the most difficult part. Most gymnasts do a full turn; to stop her body on a half-turn is, as Biles says, "Pretty hard" (a statement that puts her in the running for the understatement of the year.)

So where did the "Biles" come from? She started trying the half-turn after she tore her calf muscle when landing a full turn. Aimee Boorman, her coach, suggested she try a half-turn instead, and landing facing forward turned out to not hurt her calf. 

She first tried the move after she tore her calf muscle when landing a full turn. Her coach, Aimee Boorman, suggested she try a half-turn instead. The forward-facing landing did not hurt her calf as much.

"My coach was like, well what if you do a half-turn," Biles says. "Then you could get it named after you, if you competed at a world event."

So she did and the "Biles" was born -- and while she certainly doesn't need another way to stand out from her competition, the "Biles" has definitely helped her do that.

And so can you.

We all have strengths. We all have weaknesses. We like to work on improving our strengths because it's fun. We tend to avoid working on our weaknesses because it's a lot less fun. 

But what happens is we end up being a person who is really good at one set of skills... and not so great at another set of skills -- often, a key set of skills.

Sometimes our opportunity for success lies in the not so great: the things we don't do well, that we don't like to do... or that are figuratively painful to do.

When you do something well it's hard to make significant improvements; most gains are incremental at best. When you work on your weaknesses -- or find a way to turn a weakness into a strength -- then you can make huge gains in knowledge, skill, and expertise.

Pick something you can't do well. Pick something that you avoid. Pick something painful to do (again, figuratively, not literally.) Then work to get better. Follow a proven system that helps you learn, like this one. Think about ways to turn that weakness into a success.

Working to get better at something you already do well is good, but working to get better at something you don't do well -- or cant do at all -- can pay off in a huge way.

Just ask Simone.

Published on: Aug 12, 2016
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