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Performance beyond coaching — Flexibility beyond stretching
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Preki

Preki came to Somax in February 2000 at age 36 to improve his running speed for professional soccer. First drafted at age 16 to play for Red Star Belgrade, Preki was told by his Kansas City Wizards' coach that he would only be played from the bench in the 2000 season because he had slowed down so much.

The photos below show the improvement in Preki's Stride Angle, the maximum opening between the front and trailing leg. Each degree improvement in Stride Angle increases stride length by 2%. After his Somax program, Preki was covering 40% more ground with each stride.


Before Somax                                                        After Somax

The following photos show the improvement in Preki's Overstride Angle. Landing with the foot out in front creates a brake that slows the runner down with each stride he takes. By reducing Overstride Angle, an athlete runs faster with less effort, and less stress on the knees. Preki reduced his Overstride Angle from +20 degrees to –7 degrees.


Before Somax                                                     After Somax

Preki also had a large Crossover Angle, which is the number of degrees the supporting leg crosses over toward the midline when it lands on the ground. His Crossover Angle on the right was 12 degrees, and on the left 16 degrees.  A large Crossover Angle leads to hamstring injuries.


Right Crossover Angle Before                       Left Crossover Angle Before


Right Crossover Angle After                          Left Crossover Angle After

Preki's Crossover Angle was 5 degrees on the right and 6 degrees on the left after his Somax program. Reducing the Crossover Angle reduces the stress on the legs and hamstrings while running. Since his legs are now going straight forward, instead of moving sideways with each stride, he will also run faster.

Preki's speed improved so much that his coach played him full time for 31 of 32 games in the 2000 season.

Somax increased Preki's running speed by releasing microfibers that had formed between his muscles as a result of two decades of injury and overuse. This enabled Preki to improve his flexibility far beyond what he was able to achieve by stretching alone.


Hip Flexion Before


Hip Flexion After

In the photos above, Preki's Hip Flexion angle improved from 35 degrees to 68 degrees after his Somax program. This allowed him to lift his knees more as he ran, thereby increasing his Stride Angle.


Hip Extension Before


Hip Extension After

Preki's ability to extend his legs went from 23 degrees to 40 degrees. Improving Preki's Hip Extension also enabled him to increase his Stride Angle by increasing the amount he was able to extend off his back leg while running.


Hamstring Range Before


Hamstring Range After

Preki's hamstrings had become very tight from years of running with a large amount of crossover. By releasing the microfibers that had formed between his hamstring muscles, Preki increased his Hamstring Range from 40 degrees to 100 degrees.


Abduction Range Before


Abduction Range After

Preki's loss of Abduction Range caused his large Crossover Angle while he was running. Increasing his Abduction Range from 45 degrees to 110 degrees enabled him to reduce his Crossover Angle from 12 and 16 degrees to 5 and 6 degrees. It also improved his ability to move sideways on the field.

Another problem for Preki was that he was getting easily winded while playing. The average soccer player runs about 6 miles during a game, so getting winded is not an option for someone who wants to play at an elite level. Somax measured Preki's chest expansion. His chest was very tight. It expanded only ½ inch when he took a deep breath, most likely as a result of microfibers formed from years of getting elbowed in the ribs and trapping balls with his chest. After the microfibers in his chest were released, his chest expanded 5 inches, a ten-fold increase. Once his chest could expand easily, he no longer had problems getting winded. He also found that he recovered faster after each game.

After his Somax program, Preki's performance during the 2000 and 2001 seasons was phenomenal. In 2000 he was 4th in the league with 15 assists in, and 5th in shot leaders with 95. He became the first player in MLS history to score 50 goals and 50 assists. Instead of playing him from the bench, his coach played him in 31 of 32 games. Preki led the Kansas City Wizards to their first MLS championship. When asked by ABC Sports at half time about the Wizards' game strategy, teammate Chris Klein said that it was 'to get the ball to Preki'.

In 2001, Preki was #2 in game winning assists and #3 in the league with assists (14 assists in 24 games). He was #3 in primary assists, #3 in shots on goal, #4 in shots and #12 in points per game. He led his new team, the Miami Fusion, to first place during the regular season.

Preki writes:

I feel loose and quick like I'm in my 20's. I needed it desperately. I was getting stiffer as I got older. I stretched all the time, but I just wasn't getting any looser. My back was tight; my legs were tight. Even with all the running I was doing to stay in shape, I was getting winded during the game.

Fortunately for me, I found Somax. I don't get winded any more. It takes less time to recover from a game. When the team stretches, I'm looser than most of the guys in their 20's.

I'm one of those people who will try anything—believe me anything—to be a successful player as long as I can. I realize I'm playing the game I love and when that is over, I have to do something else, so I'm going to prolong it as much as I can.

As an indication of the long-lasting results of the Somax program on athletic performance, Preki was voted league MVP in 2004 at age 40!