"If you want to be at the top of your game, it's going to take a lot of commitment and effort to get there and stay there," says Young. "It doesn't just happen overnight."
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In 2006, San Antonio first-round draft pick Sophia Young averaged 12.0 points and 7.6 rebounds a game, earning a spot on the All-Rookie Team and becoming one of four rookies to be named to the All-Star Team. After her team's offseason additions of Becky Hammon, Ruth Riley and more, Young -- playing just three hours from her alma mater of Baylor -- has stepped up her game to a new level in 2007 as her Silver Stars have surprised many in jumping to the top of the Western Conference.

As a professional athlete, it is vital for Young to stay in peak physical condition. But this native of Saint Vincent (West Indies) takes special pride in staying in shape. And it shows. Young recently sat down with WNBA.com to discuss how she stays in shape.

How important are exercise and fitness to you as a professional athlete?
"They're incredibly important. I need to stay in great shape to keep up with the game. If you're not in shape and can't stay out on the court for more than three minutes, you're not going to be doing much to help your team."

Do you have a favorite exercise?
"I hate running on the treadmill. I prefer running sprints. I'd run sprints all day before I run a long distance on the treadmill. I like getting my heart rate going faster. It's closer to game conditions like that."

Is lifting weights a big part of your workout routine?
"Yes, definitely. To work my upper body, I like the bench press. For my lower body, I like the leg press."

Do you have a favorite song or kind of music you listen to while you're exercising?
"Yes, my new favorite CD is Robin Thicke. I love jazz. I listen to it all day."

Do you still work out on your off days? If not, what do you do?
"Sit home and lay down (laughs). No, I play with my dog. That's basically what I did last year. We try to go out and do fun things."

What about your diet? Do you eat healthy and pay really close attention to everything you eat?
"Yes, of course. You have to. Right now, I'm just not drinking any sodas."

Do you have a favorite pre-game or pre-practice meal?
"Before games, I'll eat pasta or some other carbs."

When do you think you were in the best shape? Are you in the best shape of your life now?
"Not now. But I can still get there. I don't think I've ever had crazier workouts than when I was in college. I was probably in the best shape then."

What advice would you give to someone, maybe a young athlete, hoping to get into better shape?
"If you want to be at the top of your game, it's going to take a lot of commitment and effort to get there and stay there. It doesn't just happen overnight. You have to work for it. It's a lot of hard work, and if you're not committed to it, it's hard to get there."

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