Title:
Basketball screen for drills
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable, adjustable screen to improve a basketball player's skills, particularly shooting. The screen blocks the player's view of the basket, simulates a defender as well as game distractions and timing. The screen allows a player to practice by himself and have the benefit of practicing with a defender. The device may have projections that simulate arms, it may have a speaker or lights to provide distraction. It may have a CD/DVD reader or other input means to allow the player to select drills, instruction and monitor his progress.



Inventors:
Rhyne Jr., Teely (Chicago, IL, US)
Rhyne, Rajiv A. G. (Chicago, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/679859
Publication Date:
04/07/2005
Filing Date:
10/06/2003
Assignee:
RHYNE TEELY
RHYNE RAJIV A.G.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00; A63B69/34; (IPC1-7): A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ORUM & ROTH (53 W. JACKSON BLVD, CHICAGO, IL, 60604, US)
Claims:
1. A basketball practice device comprising: an adjustable body comprising at least a first body part and a second body part, said body parts adjustably connected; a stand connected to the body; wherein the body adjusts in height.

2. The basketball practice device of claim 1 further comprising: moveable arms.

3. The basketball practice device of claim 1, wherein the device is adapted for compact storage.

4. The basketball practice device of claim 1 further including wheels attached to said body.

5. The basketball practice device of claim 4 further including at least one handle.

6. The basketball practice device of claim 2 wherein said arms are moveable in response to a signal selected from the group consisting of infra red signal, radio wave and computer command.

7. The device of claim 1 wherein the first body part is hollow and said second body part is slidable within said first body part.

8. The device of claim 6 further comprising an adjustment mechanism adapted to adjust the body from about 4 feet to about 8 feet in height.

9. The device of claim 7 wherein the height adjustment mechanism comprises a plurality of apertures in the second body portion and at least one peg journalled to at least one aperture, said peg maintains said first body portion at a selected height.

10. The device of claim 9 wherein the height adjustment mechanism comprises a plurality of depressions in the second body portion and at least one shoulder on an inside of the first body portion, said shoulder mates with at least one of the depressions to maintain said first body portion at a selected height.

11. The basketball practice device of claim 1 further comprising a timer, a buzzer and a counter, wherein said timer counts down and at the end of said countdown the buzzer sounds.

12. The basketball practice device of claim 1 further comprising a coaching input and a coaching output, wherein the coaching input is selected from the group consisting of a CD, a DVD, a computer program, an electronic download, an email, a video tape, an audio tape, a chip, a disk, a cartridge and combinations thereof and said coaching output is selected from the group consisting of speakers, monitor, computer link, counter and combinations thereof.

13. The basketball practice device of claim 1 further comprising a distraction wherein the distraction is selected from the group consisting of flashing lights, trash talk, crowd noise, music and combinations thereof.

14. The basketball practice device of claim 13 further comprising speakers and lights.

15. The basketball practice device of claim 13 wherein the distraction is selectable between an on state and an off state and a random state that randomly switches between the on state and the off state.

16. A method for improving shooting comprising the steps of: adjusting an adjustable practice screen to a height which block a player's line of sight to a basket; moving toward the device by the player until the player's line of sight to the basket is blocked by the screen; and shooting the basketball.

17. The method of clam 16 further comprising the steps of selecting one or more distractions selected from the group consisting of flashing lights, noise, crowd noise, trash talk, moving arms and moving the device.

18. The method of claim 16 further comprising the step of activating a timer and a counter on the device.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to sports improvement devices. Specifically, it relates to a device to improve a basketball player's shooting.

2. Description of Related Art

Basketball is a game of skill. Some players are gifted with natural ability. Others not so much. However, either type of player benefits from practice, particularly repetition.

In the past, to practice players engaged in various drills and practiced with teammates or friends. Many drills require a defender to be effective. However, when the player is alone, the types of drills he could practice was limited. Thus, there is a need for an apparatus which allows the player to engage in a full range of drills even when practicing on his own.

Often it is difficult to monitor one's progress or to keep track of the number of shots, drills, or repetitions. There is a need for a system which allows a player to monitor his progress.

Most high school and college leagues limit the time when a coach can practice with a team or when structured practices can begin. There is a need for a system which “coaches” the player even during the off-season. Even “in season” a coach may not have sufficient practice time to provide individual coaching to each player at every practice. There is a need for a system which provides quality practice, even when the coach is working with other players.

Many leagues for young players are coached by parents. Thus, quality coaching is often lacking in programs for elementary aged children. These children often do not learn the fundamentals or learn the skills incorrectly. There is a need for a system which supports good technique even in young players. Further, coaches often have unrecognized biases. One coach might not provide sufficient feedback or attention to a player he or she feels is too small or does not have the potential to develop. Another coach might spend too much time on the weaker players, to the detriment of the more skilled players. Another coach might not have the manpower to focus on individual players' needs. Yet another coach may focus on the particular position or the type of offense or defense he or she is most comfortable with. Children often rely on their parents to help them improve. However, some parents do not have the background, skills, physical ability or time to assist their children in improving his or her basketball skills. Accordingly, there is a need for an apparatus that can be used by individual players to improve their skills.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The inventive apparatus is a portable, adjustable screen that prevents a shooter from viewing the basket during drills, thus simulating an actual game situation where there is a defender blocking the shooter's line of sight to the basket.

The inventive screen has a number of optional features which provide more realistic simulations and/or coaching to the players.

The screen may have a player painted on the screen. The player may be wearing team colors. The screen could be painted to resemble a team's mascot. The screen may have a hologram or other optical illusion surface. As a player dribbles toward the screen, it appears the “defender” is crouched low and as the player gets close to the screen it appears the defender has jumped to block the shot. Alternatively, the screen could be shaped like a player.

The screen may have projections which simulate a defender's arms. The arms may shoot up in the air, out to the side or even swat at the ball. The screen could have flashing lights. In addition, to visual distractions, the screen may have audible distractions as well. The screen could have a speaker and play recorded crowd noise, trash talk or music.

The speaker could be used in conjunction with a counter to audibly or visually keep track of the number of shots taken. It could be used in conjunction with CDs or DVDs to provide coaching, remediation, techniques, visualization, etc.

Preferably, the screen has handles to make it easily portable. In addition, the screen preferably folds to a size which makes it easy to store.

Preferably, the screen has a height adjustment that allows one screen to be used with a variety of players or age groups or a single player as he or she grows and/or develops as a player. The height adjustment may be manual or powered. Further, the height adjustment may be continuous or step-wise.

The screen may have wheels, roller bearings or other roller means which allow the screen to be moved forward, backwards, and/or sideways. The screen may be moved manually or may be powered to move on its own either by remote control or in response to a signal from the player or ball. The player could wear a sensor or there could be a sensor in the ball. The screen could be activated to move or emit a particular sound or distraction when it sensed the ball or player were near. Alternatively, the screen could have a motion detector. The screen could also be activated by remote control controlled by a friend, coach, parent, etc to move, emit a particular sound or distraction such as trash talk, crowd noise, or to wave the arms.

The screen could have a CD/DVD player allowing the player to listen to music, watch or listen to coaching, remediation, drills, technique, or an athlete providing instruction visualization etc. The screen could have a computer or be able to interface with a computer, thus allowing the player to keep track of his workouts. The screen could have a monitor allowing the player to watch a video or other clip of good form, how to do the drill, a coach, famous athlete, etc. The monitor could be protected with a shade.

A player could input a CD, DVD computer disk, cartridge, a chip or a download of different drills, coaching advice, instruction visualizations, techniques, favorite players, etc. Different features of the screen could be activated depending on what drill, input, level of player, etc. was selected.

The screen could have a counter to keep track of the number of shots scored. The screen could have a timer. The timer could be a countdown timer to simulate the length of a period, game or a shot clock. It could have a count up timer to track the length of time the player has been practicing. A buzzer could sound when the time has counted down to zero or up to a set time.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a front view of one embodiment of the screen.

FIG. 2 is a side view of one embodiment of the screen.

FIG. 3 is a front view of an alternative embodiment of the screen.

FIG. 4 is a side view of one embodiment of the screen.

FIG. 5 is a rear view of an alternative embodiment of the screen.

FIG. 6 is a side view of the screen of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a view of the screen of FIG. 1 folded for storage.

FIG. 8 is a front view of one embodiment of the screen.

FIG. 9 is a front view of an alternative view of the screen.

FIG. 10 is a front view of the screen of FIG. 9 partially folded for storage.

FIG. 11 is a front view of an alternative embodiment of the screen.

FIG. 12 is a rear view of an alternative embodiment of FIG. 11.

FIG. 13 is a side view of the screen of FIG. 12.

FIG. 14 is a front view of an alternative embodiment of the screen at a different height than FIG. 11.

FIG. 15 is a view of an alternative embodiment of the screen folded for storage.

FIG. 16 is a partial view of an alternative embodiment of the screen.

FIG. 17 is a front view of an alternative embodiment of the screen.

FIG. 18 is a rear view of an alternative embodiment of the screen.

FIG. 19 is a front view of an alternative embodiment of the screen.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The inventive apparatus is a portable, adjustable screen 10 that prevents a shooter from viewing the basket during drills thus simulating an actual game situation where there is a defender blocking the shooter's line of sight to the basket.

The screen 10 has at least a first and second body portion 12 that allows it to have height adjustment and to pack to a compact manageable size. The screen 10 may have additional body portions 12.

Preferably, the screen 10 height H adjusts from 4 feet to 8 feet high. This will allow the screen 10 to be used by a variety of age groups or by one child as he or she grows and/or his or her skills improve. The height adjustment may be continuous or the screen may have stepwise height adjustment H2 such as every 4, 6, 8 or 12 inches. Preferably, the stepwise height adjustment H2 is every 6 inches. Preferably, the first body portion 12A is hollow, allowing the second body portion 12B to slide inside the first body portion for storage. Preferably, each body portion H1 is about 3 to about 5 feet high. More preferably, each body portion is about 54 inches long. Preferably, the length L of the screen 10 is about 2 to about 3 feet. More preferably, it is about 30 inches long. Preferably, the width W of the first body portion is about 2 to 5 inches wide. More preferably, it is about 4 inches wide. The height, width and length may be different to meet the need of the player or type of drill. The second body portion is narrower and thinner than the first body portion, allowing it to slide into the first body portion.

Preferably, the screen 10 is adjustable in a step-wise manner. In one embodiment, the lower body portion 12B has a plurality of apertures 42. A peg 40, bolt, rod or other device is placed in the apertures 42 to maintain the upper body portion 12A at the appropriate height.

In an alternative embodiment, the second body part 12B has a plurality of depressions 44. The upper body portion 12A has at least on shoulder 46 on its interior. The shoulder 46 mates with the depression to set the screen 10 at the appropriate height. Preferably, the screen 10 has a pair of shoulders 46 on the backside of the interior of the first body portion 12A. In an alternative embodiment, the screen 10 has a pair of shoulders 46 on both the front and backsides of the upper body portion 12A and the lower body portion 12B has a plurality of depressions on each side.

In an alternative embodiment, the screen 10 allows for continuous adjustment. The first body part slides away from the second body part. As can be seen in FIGS. 12 and 14, the screen 10 may have one or more expanders 24. If the screen 10 has more than one expander 24 it is not necessary to expand all the expanders.

The height adjustment may be manual or powered. If the height adjustment is manual the player, parent, coach selects the desired height and adjust the screen to that height. If the adjustment is powered, it may be done by remote control, height up/down buttons, computer control, etc. In one embodiment, the height can be adjusted on the fly to simulate a variety of defenders. The on-the-fly height adjustment may run off a computer program or randomly adjust.

Any known adjustment mechanism for height adjustment can be used.

As can be seen in FIGS. 7 and 15, the screen 10 preferably folds into a compact form to make for easy handling and storage. In the preferred embodiment, the screen 10 has handles 56 to make it easier to carry and move. The handles 56 can be used when the screen is folded down. Alternatively, there may be handles 56 to help move the screen in its upright position.

The screen has a stand 26. In the preferred embodiment, the stand is an adjustable leg 50, allowing it to stand. In an alternative embodiment, the stand is a pair of cross pieces 48 that are located at the base of the screen 10. Preferably, each cross piece 48 is about 12 inches wide. The stand 26 or screen 10 may be weighted to help the screen 10 stay upright. Alternatively, sandbags or other weights could be placed on the crosspieces 48 or leg 50 to help the screen stay upright.

The cross piece 48 may be wider or longer to help the screen stay upright. Other types of stands 26 well known in the art could also be used to keep the screen upright.

The inventive screen 10 has a number of optional features which provide more realistic simulations and/or provide instruction to players.

The screen 10 has a plurality of body portions 12 that block the path to the basket. The screen 10 blocks the player's line of sight to the basket as he or she moves in toward the screen. The player is able to sight the basket from far away and develops the ability to make baskets by knowing how the player has moved in relation to the basket rather than lining up the shot by seeing the basket.

The screen 10 may have a defender 28 painted or printed on it. The defender 28 may be wearing team colors. The screen 10 could be painted to resemble a team's mascot. The screen 10 may have a hologram or other optical illusion surface. For example, as a player dribbles toward the screen, it appears the defender 28 is crouched low and as the player gets close to the screen it appears the defender 28 has jumped to block the shot. In one embodiment, the screen has curved edges for safety. In another embodiment, the screen 10 may be shaped like a defender 28. Optionally, the screen 10 may have a separate head portion 14. However, this is not preferred since the player may look over the shoulder of the screen rather than develop the ability to shoot without seeing the basket.

The screen 10 may have projections which simulate a defender's 28 arms 16. The arms 16 may shoot up in the air or out to the side to distract the player or to further block the ball. The arms 16 may swat at the ball to interrupt the player's concentration or to simulate a defender 28 attempting to steal the ball. The speed and timing at which the arms 16 move may be adjustable. Further, in one embodiment the arms 16 are controlled by a computer. Thus, the actions and speed can be randomized. In an alternative embodiment, the arms 16 move in response to an input from a remote control. In yet another embodiment, the arms 16 move in response to a signal or sensor on the ball and/or the player. The screen 10 could have flashing lights to further distract the player.

In addition, to visual distractions, the screen may have audible distractions as well. The screen 10 could have a speaker 30 and play recorded crowd noise, trash talk and/or music. The player may have the option of turning on or off particular distractions. A more skilled player may want to simulate many distractions while a beginning player may just want to focus on shooting.

The speaker 30 could also be used in conjunction with a counter to audibly keep track of the number of shots taken. It could be used in conjunction with CDs or other recordings to provide instruction, coaching, remediation, visualization, etc. The player may be able to select an audible mode or silent mode.

The screen 10 may have wheels 18, roller bearings or other roller means which allow the screen 10 to be moved forward, backwards, and sideways. The screen 10 may be moved manually or may be powered to move on its own either by remote control or in response to a signal from the player or ball.

The screen may have an adjustable stand 26 to keep it upright. The screen may have a cross piece 48 to stand it upright. Further, the screen 10 may be weighted to assist it in staying upright.

The screen 10 could have a CD/DVD player 32 allowing the player to listen to music, watch and/or listen to coaching, instruction, remediation, drills, and visualization. The screen 10 could have a computer 36 or be able to interface with a computer, thus allowing the player to keep track of his or her workouts. The workouts could be compiled by a computer program that provides coaching. The program could use the information to develop new practices for the player or to adjust the screen settings. In one embodiment, the data is sent by email or wireless link to a “coach”. The coach provides feedback, alternative workouts, etc.

The screen 10 could have a monitor 58 allowing the player to watch a video or other clip of good form, how to do the drill, instruction, a favorite coach, etc. The video could be stored on a CD, DVD, computer chip, downloaded from the internet, etc. The monitor 58 could be protected with a shade 60 that the player pulls over the monitor when it is not in use. Preferably, the shade would be made of a rugged material to prevent damage if the ball hits it, the player runs into the screen, the screen tips over or is dropped etc.

A player could input a CD, computer disk, cartridge, a chip or a download of different drills, coaching advice, visualizations, instruction, techniques, and favorite players. The screen could activate different features and/or different levels depending on what drill or input was selected.

The screen 10 could have a counter 52 to keep track of the number of shots scored. Preferably, the counter is integrated into the design of the screen such as part of a player's number or a scoreboard. The lights 62 on the counter could also serve as the flashing light distraction. The screen could have a timer. Preferably, the timer is a countdown timer to simulate the length of a period, game or shot clock. In an alternative embodiment, the screen also has a count up timer to track the length of time the player has been practicing. A buzzer could sound when the time has counted down to zero or up to a set time.

The screen 10 could be activated to move, emit a particular sound or distraction such as trash talk, crowd noise, arms by remote control controlled by a friend, coach, parent, etc. The screen 10 could be activated to move or emit a particular sound or distraction when it sensed the ball or player were near. The player could wear a sensor or there could be a sensor in the ball. Alternatively, the screen 10 could have a motion detector.