Pro tennis player Venus Williams opens up about where she is in life – and how she got there.

You've heard all about her Grand Slam tennis titles and friendly competition with her sister Serena, but there's a whole other side to Venus Williams. In the August issue of Shape, she reveals who, and what, inspires her most. In the process, Venus reveals the tools she uses every day to stay on top of her game.

As the Shape photo shoot is being set up Venus, 28, and her sister (and housemate) Serena, 26, stand with their arms draped around each other, laughing conspiratorially. After years of watching them compete on the court, seeing how close they are not to mention witnessing the two giggling like schoolgirls over text messages makes it clear there's much more to the Williams sisters than just tennis. As Serena leaves for practice, Venus sits down to discuss where she is in her life and how she got there.

The importance of practice and regular workout routines

To kickoff Venus' list, she recommends you practice and practice more! It's the key to confidence, says Venus. "You have to practice to develop your talents-and learn to enjoy putting the effort in," she explains. She doesn't just practice on the court; her gym workout routines keep her in the winner's circle.

Self motivation and Venus’s inspiration

As far as motivation goes, Venus tells us who has inspired her the most. It's Serena, no question. "Without her, I couldn't have achieved anything. She's helped me believe in myself." Serena loves to give Venus little sayings to remember, such as, 'If you take your opportunities, more opportunities will come.' "That got me through one final at Wimbledon," recalls Venus. "It was a ridiculously difficult match and I was behind until the last three minutes. I kept saying that line over and over in my head: 'If I take the opportunities on the court, more will come.' I was also thinking, 'I want to be like Serena; I want to win like Serena.' And I did."

Discover more about another incredible tennis player, Maria Sharapova, at Shape.com – and check out one woman’s self motivation techniques, strategies that can help you, too.

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