Title:
Football kicking training aid
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A football kicking training aid comprises a modified football having an attached patch on one or both ends, with Velcro® loop elements therein. The football is supported in place, for kicking by another player, by a user wearing a thimble or glove having Velcro® hook elements only at a fingerpad area thereof. The restriction of the Velcro® elements to the football patch and the fingerpad area of the glove or thimble urges the user to support the football only at the patch, and to continue supporting the football until the kicking action has been completed.



Inventors:
Horkan, Noel P. (New Windsor, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/676209
Publication Date:
04/07/2005
Filing Date:
10/01/2003
Assignee:
HORKAN NOEL P.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/596
International Classes:
A63B43/00; A63B69/00; (IPC1-7): A63B69/00; A63B43/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
James, Russell Claybrook (P. O. Box 843, New Hampton, NY, 10958, US)
Claims:
1. 1-9. (canceled)

10. A football kicking training aid comprising in combination: a football having at least one attached patch, said patch or patches covering only one or both pointed ends of said football and not having a diameter greater than two inches, said patch or patches having a plurality of either male or female fastener elements thereon; a flexible thimble having a lateral area which user can position adjacent the fingerpad of said user wearing said thimble; a pad on the said lateral area of said thimble, said pad having a plurality of mating fastener elements thereon complementary to said fastener elements on said patch or patches, said mating elements on said thimble worn by a user releasably engaging said mating elements on said patch located at the upper end of said football, whereby said mating of said complementary fastener elements urges a user to properly support said football, for kicking by another player, at said patch only at said upper end by a user's fingerpad within said thimble, and to continue supporting said football until the kicking action has been completed.

11. The device as claimed in claim 10 wherein said mating fastener elements disengage from said complementary mating elements upon a player kicking said football.

12. The device as claimed in claim 10 wherein said mating elements on said patch or patches comprise loop elements of the loop and hook product sold under the trademark VELCRO®

13. The device as claimed in claim 10 wherein said mating elements on said patch or patches comprise hook elements of the loop and hook product sold under the trademark VELCRO®

14. The device as claimed in claim 10 wherein the material of said thimble is natural or synthetic rubber.

15. A football kicking training aid comprising in combination: a football having at least one attached patch, said patch or patches covering only one or both pointed ends of said football and not having a diameter greater than two inches, said patch or patches having a plurality of either male or female fastener elements thereon; a flexible glove having a plurality of fingers, said fingers having lateral areas positioned adjacent the fingerpads of a user wearing said glove; a pad on said lateral area of the index finger of said glove, said pad having a plurality of mating fastener elements thereon complementary to said fastener elements on said patch, said mating elements on said glove worn by a user releasably engaging said mating elements on said patch located at the upper end of said football, whereby said mating of said complementary fastener elements urges a user to properly support said football, for kicking by another player, at said patch at said upper end by a user's fingerpad within said glove, and to continue supporting said football until the kicking action has been completed.

16. The device as claimed in claim 15 wherein said mating fastener elements disengage from said complementary mating elements upon a player kicking said football.

17. The device as claimed in claim 15 wherein said mating elements on said patch or patches comprise Velero.RTM loop elements of the loop and hook product sold under the trademark VELCRO®

18. The device as claimed in claim 15 wherein said mating elements on said patch or patches comprise Velero.RTM hook elements of the loop and hook product sold under the trademark VELCRO®

Description:

A football kicking training aid comprises a modified football having an attached patch on one or both ends, with Velcro® loop elements therein. The football is supported in place, for kicking by another player, by a user wearing a thimble or glove having Velcro® hook elements only at a fingerpad area thereof. The restriction of the Velcro® elements to the football patch and the fingerpad area of the glove or thimble urges the user to support the football only at the patch, and to continue supporting the football until the kicking action has been completed.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a training aid and, more particularly, to a modified football and thimble or glove combination which assists in teaching a player to correctly support a football while another player kicks the football. The effective supporting of a football, placed on the ground or a tee while it is kicked, is not always readily learned, particularly in the case of a young or novice football player. The younger or novice player is more likely to withdraw support of the football or to flinch, causing the football to fall or move from its preferable position, as the other player approaches the football. This type of ball movement results in incorrect football supporting techniques that must later be corrected. Thus, the correct placement of the supporter's fingerpad atop the football is an important aspect in correctly supporting a football for kicking by another player and maintaining that correct support. Accordingly, it is desirable to present a training aid which urges an initial, correct interaction between the supporter's fingerpad and the football which enhances the development of a proper supporting action, and the continuation of that support throughout the kicking action.

Known prior art devices have not addressed the above problems. Various patents disclose devices and complex apparatus designed to hold footballs in proper orientation for kicking. Such devices and apparatus are aimed at training of the kicker, not of the player supporting the football while it is kicked. (U.S. Pat. No. 4,949,973; U.S. Pat. No. 5,435,572; U.S. Pat. No. 4,807,880; U.S. Pat. No. 4,477,077; U.S. Pat. No. 4,632,395; U.S. Pat. No. 4,033,581; U.S. Pat. No. 5,553,855; U.S. Pat. No. 5,488,780; U.S. Pat. No. 4,711,043; U.S. Pat. No. 5,280,922).

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In response to the needs described I have invented a training aid in the form of a modified football and a modified thimble or glove. The modified football has attached at one or both pointed ends a patch or patches having one element of a Velcro® fastener combination thereon. A flexible thimble or glove has the complementary mating elements of the Velcro® fastener combination only at one fingerpad area thereof. The use of the Velcro® in a patch or patches only on the pointed end or ends of the football forces the thimbled or gloved user to properly support the football only at such patch. The Velcro® patch or patches do not interfere with the normal game play by ungloved players. It is therefore a general object of this invention to provide a training aid in the form of a modified football and modified thimble or glove combination which assists in proper support of a football during a place kick action.

A further object of this invention is to provide a training aid, as aforesaid, which does not interfere with normal game play by ungloved players.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a training aid, as aforesaid, which improves the user's support and control of the football while it is being supported for kicking.

Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein is set forth by way of illustration and example, an embodiment of this invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a user supporting a modified football with one index finger in a modified flexible thimble;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing a user supporting a modified football with one index finger in a modified flexible glove.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Turning more particularly to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows the football 1 modified by attachment of patches 2 at both pointed ends of said football, having Velcro® fastener elements thereof preferably of the loop-type design, the loop type elements being less susceptible to damage or sticking to clothing or other items during game play. FIG. 1 also shows the football 1 resting on the ground 3 and being supported by the fingerpad of a user's index finger 4 in a modified flexible thimble 5, having an attachment of a pad 6 having Velcro RTM fastener elements complementary to the fastener elements of the patches 2. The complementary Velcro.RTM mating fastener elements of the pad 6 are preferably of the hook type design.

An alternate design of the modified football 1 has one Velcro® patch, which the user orients at the top of football 1.

It is also understood that a combination of hook and loop elements may be used such that elements on the patch or patches 2 are of hook type design and elements on the pad 6 are of loop type design.

FIG. 2 shows the football 1 modified by attachment of patch or patches 2 having Velcro® fastener elements thereof preferably of the loop-type design, the loop type elements being less susceptible to damage or sticking to clothing or other items during game play. FIG. 2 also shows the football 1 resting on the ground 3 and being supported by the fingerpad of a user's index finger 7 in a modified flexible glove 8, having an attachment of a pad 9 having Velcro RTM fastener elements complementary to the fastener elements of the patch or patches 2. The complementary Velcro.RTM mating fastener elements of the pad 9 are preferably of the hook type design.

It is also understood that a combination of hook and loop elements may be used such that elements on the patch or patches 2 are of hook type design and elements on the pad 9 are of loop type design.

The restriction of the Velcro® loop elements to the patch or patches 2 of the football 1 is important. No Velcro® materials are positioned elsewhere on the football as shown in prior patents (U.S. Pat. No. 5,570,882; U.S. Pat. No. 5,183,263; U.S. Pat. No. 5,195,745). Accordingly, the mating of the Velcro® elements on the flexible thimble 5 or flexible glove 8 occurs only when the football 1 is properly supported by a thimbled or gloved user at the patch 2 of football 1. This restriction urges an initial proper FIG. 1 or FIG. 2 support of the football 1 by a thimbled or gloved user only at the patch 2 as the thimbled or gloved user cannot obtain the tactile feedback of attachment if supporting the football elsewhere.

The flexible thimble 5 may be of any resilient material, but the preferred embodiment is that the material be a natural or synthetic rubber. It is important that the pad 6 be found only at a lateral area of the thimble, said area being positioned by the user adjacent to the fingerpad of the user's index finger. The glove 8 may be of any flexible material, it being important that the pad 9 is found only at the lateral area of the index finger adjacent to the fingerpad. This placement of the pad 6 or 9 cooperates with the above-described patch 2 of the football 1 to again assure that the football is properly supported by the fingerpad of the index finger of the user.

Accordingly, upon supporting the football 1 by the index finger 4, as shown in FIG. 1, the ball 1 is properly supported and not unstable as often found with the younger or novice user. Of course, the degree of interaction between the mating Velcro® elements on the patch 2 and pad 6 or 9 must be minimal so as to not to interfere with the release of the football 1.

It is to be understood that while certain forms of this invention have been illustrated and described, it is not limited thereto except insofar as such limitations are included in the following claims and allowable functional equivalents thereof.