We already know that U.S. water polo team captain Elizabeth Armstrong is a force to be reckoned with, but Team USA’s Brenda Villa, 32, also knows how to go for the gold.

Villa, who became interested in water polo from swimming when she was an eight-year-old tomboy and has “not looked back” since, sat down exclusively with Uinterview to talk about her secrets on the water. “I think it’s really important to visualize something before you do it, so that when you’re in the water you just rely on your instincts,” Villa said.

But instincts are only half of the game. Endurance in water polo is key. “Yes, we need to sprint up and down, but you’re also having somebody tug on you and having to shoot the ball,” Villa explained. “So, we do a lot of conditioning for endurance. We need to be able to go top speed for the whole game.”

And that means intense training. “We go to ten practices a week, where three of those practices will be in the weight room going an hour-and-a-half of strength training, squats, lunges, dead lifts, pull ups. We’ve been doing a lot of running this year. And for people who are meant to be in the water, it adds a lot of stress to us, but it’s good for us. We do a lot of scrimmaging, a lot of swimming, a lot of conditioning,” Villa said of her routine.

 

For more on the 2012 London Olympics:

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Olympic Boxer Errol Spence, Jr. On His Friendship With Rau’shee Warren

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Olympian Tim Morehouse On Taching Fencing To Younger Generations

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Olympic Boxer Rau’shee Warren Gets ‘In A Zone’ In The Ring

U.S. Women’s Gymnastic Team With McKayla Maroney & Jordyn Wieber Wins Gold

U.S. Olympic Swimmer Matt Grevers Wins Gold, Sets Record

U.S. Olympic Swimmer And Aurora, Colorado Native Missy Franklin On Winning Gold: ‘Pinch Me’

U.S. Olympic Gymnast McKayla Maroney

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Olympic Diver Kristian Ipsen Is ‘Not Wearing Much’

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Olympian Phil Dalhausser’s ‘Late Start’ At Beach Volleyball

EXCLUSIVE: Olympian Jessica Hardy Swims 2.5 Hours Every Morning

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Olympic Gymnast Jonathan Horton On The London Games

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Olympic Gymnast Jordyn Wieber On Training For London Games

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Olympic Sprinter Wallace Spearmon On Losing His Medal In Beijing — And Winning Gold In London

Lolo Jones Reveals She’s A Virgin

Daniel Craig To Open Olympics At Buckingham Palace

Warrior Star Kurt Angle Is Training For Return To Olympics

Evan Lysacek Wins Olympic Gold

Michael Phelps Makes A Splash In Vegas

VIDEO: Olympic Swimmer Matt Grevers’ Proposes To Annie Chandler

China’s Yu Yang Talks Badminton Scandal, Team USA’s Tony Gunawan Loses To Japan

Ariel Hsing Is The Talk Of London 2012 Table Tennis

Does U.S. Gymnast Danell Leyva Have The Body For Gymnastics?

U.S. Gymnast Danell Leyva Slips From Pommel Horse, Team Finishes Fifth

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