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Padecky: No weight on their shoulders

  • Athena Schrijver, 13,of Santa Rosa lifts at Myles Ahead Weightlifting in Petaluma, Thursday June 26, 2014. At right is Chloe Tacata, 14. Both girls are youth national champions for their age group, held on June 13 in Daytona, Florida. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2014

Sweat equity, it's the barometer in which all sports are measured. Sweat represents effort, commitment, knowledge acquisition and then ultimately, hopefully, success. Sweat is a liquid adhesive. It connects everything.

You can never get enough of it. Right?

Chloe Tacata of Rohnert Park, Athena Schrijver of Santa Rosa and Will Prokop of Petaluma are weightlifters. At the Youth National Championships on June 13 in Daytona Beach, Fla., the three kids became national champions in their age groups. Tacata even set the American record for the snatch.

Each kid trains four days a week.

For one hour each day.

You read it correctly. That's not a typo. If you're a parent, an athlete or a coach, that's not what you know or believe as gospel.

"How can you create champions without working them?" That's a question Freddie Myles heard again and again, between dismissive giggles and shrugs. Myles is the owner and coach of Myles Ahead Weightlifting, the club that produced those three national champions. That question would arise at tournaments, local and national, and the answer they would receive from Myles never satisfied them.

"More (practice) is not necessarily better," said Myles, 37.

That answer would be nearly as off-putting as others Myles would provide.

"I want to make sure they have time to do their homework," he would say.


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