NBC Nightly News Story on the 8-Board

“All Jack’s kids are great! They have smooth strokes and complete games. I’ve use the 8-Board for the past ten years with both my varsity teams and my Nike camps. Everyone loves it because you can really feel the fluid strokes!”                                                                                                             Peter Smith, USC Mens Tennis Coach, NCAA Champions

“The 8 Board is the only balance product on the market that has a movement system affiliated with it, which is applicable to most every sport. You will see several out at our facilities at any given day.”     Justin Frandson, President Athleticism™, Newport Beach, CA


Hello, Jack

I am very glad we met and discussed the 8-Board and a great philosophy of continuous movement behind its design. For many years, watching top athletes or professional dancers, I admired the beauty of their movements and tried to analyze the source of their gracefulness. Again and again I saw that the foundation of a successful combination of strength and beauty is total body control and interrelationship between all its moving parts. A truly harmoniously developed individual manifests this control in every step, every turn of a head, every movement of an arm. To master this harmony is an ultimate goal of physical development regardless of whether you want to become a professional tennis player or a cowboy. [Speaking about cowboys, I have recently watched in 100th time “The Magnificent Seven” (young guys do not even know that classical cowboy movie of 1960) and admired, again, how gracefully Yul Brynner was moving. Every turn he made was like a winding spring ready to be unwound in a lightning assault on the enemy.

There are many Eastern teachings that combine physical and spiritual perfection trying to achieve one through another in both directions. To my limited knowledge, their physical agenda was never about plain strength but rather about graceful and continuous movement of the whole body when every muscle contracts in harmony with the next one acting like an orchestra under the directing of a talented conductor. The movement goes from hands to arms, to shoulders, to an upper body, to hips, to knees and back to hips, upper body, shoulders, arms, hands and back again and again in infinite wave-like motions.

I was very pleasantly surprised when I saw an 8-Board and, even more, when I saw your demonstration and absorbed your teaching methodology. That was a quintessential harmony! It looks like this simple device can help to achieve an ultimate goal of physical harmony in a much shorter time than people can imagine. It aims directly towards a combined motion of all components that, properly integrated, result in that Holy Grail of physical perfection.

Let’s talk a little about physics and, in particular, about a sound of a whip in the hands of a master who knows how to handle it. What is the source of a very loud cracking sound at the end of a whip movement?

Well, it is an effect of a tip of a whip breaking a sound barrier. The reason for this is simple. In the beginning a large mass of a whip handle, moving with normal speed of a hand that holds it, carries certain amount of energy. As the movement goes on, the same amount of energy is transferred to smaller and lighter segments of a whip while the heavier segments stop moving. The energy conservation law dictates that the lighter segments should move faster to carry the same amount of energy that heavier ones had. And the closer to the tip – the faster segments of a whip should move because they are made smaller and smaller towards the tip. Finally, the speed of a tip becomes so high that is exceeds the sound barrier and we hear a crack.

The reason I brought this topic is obvious and very much related to our discussion of a complete participation of an entire body in every movement to hit a tennis ball. Inasmuch as a whip unwinds itself to ultimately transfer certain amount of energy from heavier to lighter segments thus causing faster and faster movement of each consecutive segment, the body of a tennis player, initially wound up, unwinds itself and transfers energy from an entire body to its upper part, to an arm and, finally, to a hand and a rocket to force the rocket to carry entire load of energy of the whole body. And, as an untrained novice cannot properly handle a whip, a person that cannot master this winding/unwinding of the body cannot play on a really high level. And that is where 8-Board is a great help. Looking at your demonstration, it was obvious that it provides exactly the training of that muscle coordination that results in a wave-like motion of an entire body to transfer its full energy to a consecutively lighter and lighter parts to increase their speed and effectiveness.

I am writing this to elaborate on some theoretical foundation behind 8-Board design, as I understand it, and the reason why the positive effect of its usage in training professional athletes is so effective.

It was a pleasure to meet you.

Zor Shekhtman