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Training Tips From Olympic Basketball Player Tina Charles

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France's Marielle Amant (R) blocks Tina Charles of U.S. during the match between France and USA during the Women's FIBA World Championship 2010 in Ostrava on September 25, 2010.
France's Marielle Amant (R) blocks Tina Charles of U.S. during the match between France and USA during the Women's FIBA World Championship 2010 in Ostrava on September 25, 2010.

Welcome to our "Like An Olympian" series. As the 2012 London Olympics nears, HuffPost Healthy Living will take a look at lifestyle and fitness lessons from competitors, coaches and former Olympians alike.

After a dominant run with the UConn Huskies, basketball player Tina Charles quickly proved she could hold her own with the pros. Charles was the WNBA's number one draft pick in 2010 and was named the Rookie of the Year for the season.

This year, she'll join the U.S. women's basketball team in London, a team that has won gold medals in nearly all of the Olympic games since women's basketball was first included in 1976.

We recently had the chance to ask her some questions about what it takes to get her body ready for game day -- and what you can learn from her on and off the court.

What have you learned through your Olympic training that you carry over into your everyday fitness routine?

Through my Olympic training and being around the veterans on the Olympic team I have learned that recovery is really important after any training. Now after workouts I will stretch and drink a recovery beverage. What helps me the most is the cryotherapy wrap I use on my ankle to treat sprains. Cold therapy helps me get the results that I want.

What do you do to ensure you are rested for a big game?

Luckily for me, I sleep all the time. I'm no stranger to naps. Pre-game naps come easy.

Your nerves don't get to you before a big game?

You can't over think it, you have to stay relaxed and know the difference between focusing and psyching yourself out.

Do you have any favorite songs you like to train or work out to?

I don't really listen to anything in particular, but if I had to choose an artist before my game to tune into it would be Jay-Z.

For more from our "Like An Olympian" series, click here.

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