What are some of the best gymnastics movies for inspiring a growth mindset in your gymnast?

5 Best Gymnastics Movies For Inspiring A Growth Mindset


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I've recently watched all of the gymnastics movies below and I've given you my feedback on each one. 

(If there are any gymnastics movies you think should have made top 5, let me know in the comments).

5 Best Gymnastics Movies For Inspiring A Growth Mindset

Please note: These aren't in any particular order. I loved them all and think they are all great at inspiring a growth mindset in your gymnast.

But first...why is a growth mindset so important?

Gymnastics is a hard sport and it's a sport where gymnasts are constantly learning new skills and testing their limits. With a growth mindset, a gymnast can fail and bounce back relatively quickly. She learns that despite gymnastics being a challenging sport, anything is possible if she puts forth the effort and has faith in herself.

Obviously, then, a growth mindset is an important mindset for gymnasts to have. And considering how rocky the road to success can be, it is absolutely vital that your gymnast learns to approach her journey with an open mind and a positive attitude.

Fostering a growth mindset can't take practice. But it's worth the effort. Recent advancements in neuroscience have shown how incredibly plastic our brains are. In fact, by changing the way she thinks, a gymnast can actually form more neural connections in her brain and strengthen them. Indeed, she can actually grow her brain!

The movies below all represent some form of a growth mindset. By watching these, your gymnast will learn that her mindset can dictate her success or lack of it in her sport.


Stick It Girl Boutique - gymnastics gifts

Here are the top 5 gymnastics movies for inspiring a growth mindset in your gymnast:

#1 Full Out (PG)

2015 * 1 hr 30 min

Currently available on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, and Vudu

Full Out Gymnastics Movie with Ariana Berlin - Amazon Prime

No surprise here that the gymnastics movie Full Out tops my list. Full Out is based on the inspiring true story of Ariana Berlin, a gymnast who dreamed of making it to UCLA for gymnastics. Her path takes a twist as a car accident leaves her injured and in the hospital with a long recovery ahead and a prognosis that looks bleak for a future in gymnastics.

The reason I love this gymnastics movie for inspiring a growth mindset is because Ariana's path isn't typical for a college gymnast. Her journey goes through many bumps in the road, including an unexpected path into dance where she happens to meet Val Kondos, the head of UCLA gymnastics at that time.

Not only will gymnasts learn that their journey can take on many twists and still end up in the same place, they'll also learn what an "I WILL" attitude looks like when it comes to recovering from an injury that was deemed insurmountable.

I definitely recommend this movie for all gymnasts.

#2 The Gabby Douglas Story (TV-G)

2014 * 1 hr 26 min

Currently available on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, and Vudu

The Gabby Douglas Story move on Amazon Prime - gymnastics movies

This Lifetime biopic is based on Gabby Douglas' journey to the Olympics, becoming the first African American woman to win a gold medal. It details her life from her early years when she first got started in gymnastics to her move away from her family to train for the Olympics at a different gym.

I love this movie because it shows all the sacrifices Gabby and her family had to make to get her to the Olympics. It also shows the vision boards that her and her family would create. This is a great example of how to use a vision board to help achieve dreams and goals.

Gabby overcomes many struggles including a desire to quit her sport after moving away. Her family is a strong presence in her life and supports her throughout her journey. I think gymnasts will love this movie and at the very least, understand some of the struggles Gabby to get to her gold medal.


#3 The Simone Biles Story: Courage To Soar (TV-PG)

2018 * 1 hr 26 min

Currently available on Lifetime Movie Club, The Roku Channel, Amazon Prime Video, and Vudu

The Simone Biles Story: Courage To Soar - gymnastics movies

If your gymnast loves Simone then this movie is a no-brainer. This movie details Simone's journey as a baby who has to be taken from her mother (who suffered from drug-addiction) and ultimately landing with her grandparents in a new state. You also see her beginnings as a gymnast from a 6 year-old girl on a field-trip to a gymnastics center and how her journey unfolds through the years. Like Gabby Douglas, you can see all the sacrifices Simone had to make including giving up her dream of attending high school and going to prom. 

I love that they show a journal Simone kept where she wrote down her big goals. This helps gymnasts realize how powerful goal setting and visualization are towards their success.

One thing that also becomes clear is that Simone had many challenges along the way such as needing to become better at bars, needing to win over Marta Karolyi, and having to sit out a season due to an injury. She also struggles with ADHD and ultimately learns how to manage her symptoms so she can focus and be her best.

I definitely recommend this movie for any gymnast. It gives a good glimpse into Simone's world and shows her hard work and growth mindset in overcoming all the struggles she had to face.


#5 An American Girl: McKenna Shoots For The Stars (Not-Rated)

2012 * 1 hr 31 min

Currently available on Amazon Prime (DVD with digital version)


McKenna Shoots For The Stars - gymnastics movie


I loved this movie! There are so many themes in this movie like overcoming obstacles, navigating friendships, and believing in yourself. While it details the life of a 4th grade gymnast, I think this movie is a good watch for gymnasts of all ages (including older ones). 

McKenna struggles with reading comprehension in school, which presents an obstacle for her that interferes with her gymnastics training. She not only has to work hard to overcome this struggle, but also learn how to lean into the help of others which is a foreign idea for her.

Also, McKenna, who strongly identifies with gymnastics learns that there is more to life when an injury keeps her sidelined for weeks. She makes a new friend in her tutor (who is wheel-chair bound), encourages her new friend to take risks, and navigates a fight with her best friend. She also learns to put her friend first over gymnastics.

This is a very sweet movie that I highly recommend. There are even some good gymnastics scenes in it!


#5 Nadia (Not-Rated)

1984 * 1 hr 39 min

Currently available on Amazon Prime Video

Nadia - gymnastics movie based on Nadia Comaneci's life

Ok, I know this is a very old movie (I still have it on VHS!). But this movie always left me feeling motivated to become a better gymnast.

While younger gymnasts might find it a little strange (weird music, old cinematography, etc), older gymnasts can see Nadia's struggles of having to deal with the pressures of being a champion. Perfection is demanded of her and you can see this theme throughout the film especially when she earned the first perfect 10 at an Olympic Games as well as a total of 7 perfect 10s in the Montreal Olympics. 

As Nadia grows older she takes perfectionism to an extreme by developing an eating disorder in order to get her body into shape. These themes might be too mature for younger and more sensitive gymnasts, but I really do love this movie because it shows the discipline Nadia puts in to become a champion for a second time after a much harder journey in her older years.

For those wanting a little nostalgia, this is a good movie that will inspire your gymnast and give her a little history at the same time. 

Honorable Mentions

There are other great gymnastics movies that inspire a growth mindset too. Some honorable mentions include:

A 2nd Chance 

A 2nd Chance - gymnastics movies


Raising The Bar

Raising The Bar - gymnastics movies on amazon prime


And last but not least: Stick It (PG-13)

Stick It - gymnastics movie


Remember, a growth mindset is something that can be learned! Your gymnast must deliberately practicing changing her mindset so that she can strengthen the neural connections in her brain. These gymnastics movies are a great way for her to enjoy gymnastics while also seeing examples of a growth mindset in action.



If you or your gymnast needs support, in addition to the resources below I also offer one-on-one coaching sessions via Zoom.


Gymnastics Mental Blocks Guidebook for Parents


Helpful Links:



Gymnastics Mental Coach Anna Kojac, M.Ed.




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