Ski training, plyometrics, help Husky football star Wormhoudt

After undergoing three blowout losses in three weeks, any casual observer of the Mammoth Huskies football team might wonder why in the world would anyone show up to watch these guys play.

The answer is in two words:

Tyler Wormhoudt.

Mammoth’s senior running back and defensive backfield defender is racking up prodigious numbers on the field, in spite of the Huskies’ humbling losses. Coach Marty Thompson, along with everybody else, is impressed, and says one of the main reasons for Wormhoudt’s football prowess is in his ski racing.

“He’s a great leader, first of all, “Thompson said, “but his athletic strength is in his balance, the physical shape he’s in and plyometrics—they all come into play.”

Wormhoudt hasn’t been able to do it all himself. Last week, the Huskies traveled to Bishop, where Wormhoudt and everyone else on the team were taken to the cleaners in a 55-6 loss.

Tonight (Friday) the Huskies hit the road again to play the Rosamond Roadrunners in a non-league battle. The Roadrunners go into the fray with a 1-1 record after their 32-26 non-league win over Vasquez (Acton) last week.

To prevail, the Huskies will need Wormhoudt—and just about everybody else—at their best. For the young skier-football player, that means more concentration on his plyometrics.

Plyometrics isn’t the rage in just skiing; lots of other athletes do them, too.

But it is in competitive ski racing that the regimen is a fundamental core set of exercises.

They include squat jumps, box jumps, hopping, two-legged jumps, side-to-side jumps, chair jumping, and so on.

For skiers, these exercises are easy to understand why they would help.

When ski racers make a turn, they bend their legs, shortening the quads muscles. As they fight through the turn, however, an outside force (gravity) is forcing the quad muscle to lengthen, and they use an eccentric muscle action to hold a position and stay tight through the turn.

It is this eccentric force that skiers develop through plyometrics.

“It helps him (Wormhoudt) in everything, and it’s good for him,” Thomspon said.

“I tell people you’ve got to be tough to be a skier.”