Feature Athlete: Seth Tom

Seth Tom is our latest featured athlete!  Seth is a 16-year old weightlifter from San Francisco, California who currently competes in the 55 and 61 kg weight classes.   Seth won the championship title in the 56-kg weight class (16-17 age group) at USA Weightlifting’s 2018 Youth Nationals in Grand Rapids, Michigan in June 2018.

When did you get started in this sport?

I started lifting 8 years ago (2010) when I was 8 years old.

What (or who) got you started?

My sister attended Abraham Lincoln High School where my coach was a teacher. My coach, Kevin Doherty, ran a strength and conditioning camp with Olympic weightlifting. Kevin and other coaches brought me and my siblings into the weightroom and taught us.

What do you enjoy most about weightlifting?

One thing I enjoy about this sport is the community. I enjoy being around people of all ages and becoming real close friends. I also enjoy the feeling. It’s one of the best feelings to finish your last lift in a competition, whether it’s a miss or make.

What does your current training routine look like?

I train at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, California. I train about 2 hours a day 5 times a week with many people of all ages. From kids in elementary school to people as young as 70 years old.

What one or two things do you currently do in your training that has been impactful?

One thing is technique work. My dad told me, “They may be bigger than you but you have better technique. People with good technique will always win.”

Another thing is lots of strength work. For example squats or accessories.

What are your proudest weightlifting achievements?

My proudest achievements were being able to compete at the 2017 Youth World Championships on my birthday, winning my first National Championship and breaking a few American Records.

What is your diet like?

Eat as much as I can but not too much junk food.

Who do you look up to in the sport? Why?

I look up to my friends both on my team and others that are not. Seeing them progress throughout the sport always motivates me to do better.

What friendships has this sport brought your way?

It has brought friendships of all kinds. It’s brought me friendships with younger people, older people, the same age as me and people all over the country.

What qualities do great coaches possess?

Coaches can have many great qualities but one I like is being friendly. I like my coaches because they are my friends and know me well.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t think.

What characteristics do you strive for?

I strive to be confident and humble.

When you have random free time, how do you spend it?

I enjoy playing basketball, eating, playing video games or sleeping.  

If you could master anything (besides weightlifting), what would it be?


What have you learned from weightlifting that helps you in other parts of your life?

Weightlifting has taught me how to be passionate and to work as hard as I can.

The last time you were knocked down (or discouraged) in this sport, how did you get back up?

I learned from my mistakes and kept moving forward.

Where does your strength come from?

My strengths come from my teammates because they keep me motivated.

What are your weightlifting goals?

I want to be the best I can be and especially be happy.


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