Title:
Ball hitting stance training device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A ball hitting stance training device (1) having a top surface (12), which is preferably covered with an abrasive top surface material (2), preferably turf, having a target area (3) for placement of the stride foot, and a bottom surface (13). Support elements (7) having a plurality of spikes (6) are secured to the bottom surface (13) in order to raise the ball hitting stance training device (1) above the ground and keep the ball hitting stance training device (1) from sliding on the ground. The top surface (12) may have a handle opening (4) for easy transportability and a storage opening (5) for hanging the ball hitting stance training device (1) on a wall. An optional removable batting tee (8) and audio feedback device (10) may also be included on the ball hitting stance training device (1).



Inventors:
Trucks, Douglas (Orlando, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/024175
Publication Date:
06/29/2006
Filing Date:
12/28/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20030211900Golf club grip for retaining an insertNovember, 2003Novak et al.
20060270491Multi-modal ionomeric golf ball compositionsNovember, 2006Jordan et al.
20070243957Buffering structure for hollow and tubular sport itemsOctober, 2007Hsu
20030224865Tubular sport itemsDecember, 2003Lai
20100016095GOLF CLUB HEAD HAVING TRIP STEP FEATUREJanuary, 2010Burnett et al.
20070155545Lacrosse stick with telescoping handleJuly, 2007Owen
20040077436Throwing technique trainerApril, 2004Goucher et al.
20060160640Two piece lacrosse stick headJuly, 2006Rettberg
20080261733COMPOSITE RACQUET AND METHOD OF MAKING SAMEOctober, 2008Filippini
20080090681METHOD FOR TEACHING BASKETBALL SHOOTINGApril, 2008Montie et al.
20030236127Putting distance and putting line trainerDecember, 2003Richter et al.



Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LIVINGSTON LOEFFLER, P.A. (963 TRAIL TERRACE DRIVE, NAPLES, FL, 34103, US)
Claims:
Having thus described my invention, I claim:

1. A ball hitting stance training device comprising: a substantially planar board having a top surface and bottom surface; and at least one support element secured to said bottom surface of said board.

2. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 1 wherein: at least one target area is located on said top surface.

3. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 1 wherein: at least a portion of said top surface of said board is covered with a top surface material.

4. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 3 wherein: said top surface material is turf.

5. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 3 wherein: said top surface material has at least one target area.

6. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 4 wherein: said top surface material has at least one target area.

7. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 1 wherein: said at least one support element has a support element material located thereon.

8. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 7 wherein: said support element material is a plurality of spikes.

9. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 3 wherein: said at least one support element has a support element material located thereon.

10. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 9 wherein: said support element material is a plurality of spikes.

11. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 1 wherein: said board has at least one handle opening.

12. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 3 wherein: said board has at least one handle opening.

13. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 1 wherein: said board has at least one storage opening.

14. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 3 wherein: said board has at least one storage opening.

15. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 1 wherein: a batting tee is removably securable to said board.

16. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 2 wherein: a batting tee is removably securable to said board.

17. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 5 wherein: a batting tee is removably securable to said board.

18. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 6 wherein: a batting tee is removably securable to said board.

19. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 1 wherein: an audio feedback device is connected to said board.

20. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 2 wherein: an audio feedback device is connected to said board.

21. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 5 wherein: an audio feedback device is connected to said board.

22. The ball hitting stance training device of claim 6 wherein: an audio feedback device is connected to said board.

23. A ball hitting stance training device comprising: a substantially planar board having a top surface and bottom surface; at least a portion of said top surface of said board is covered with turf; at least one target area located on said turf; at least one support element secured to said bottom surface of said board; said at least one support element having at least one spike; and at least one target area on said top surface.

24. A method for using a ball hitting stance training device comprising a substantially planar board having a top surface and bottom surface; at least one support element secured to said bottom surface of said board; and at least one target area located on said top surface, said method comprising the steps of: a. positioning said board such that it parallel to a home plate and perpendicular to a pitching mound; b. standing on said board; and c. positioning a foot closest to the pitching mound behind said target area and positioning a foot furthest from the pitching mound to a predetermined distance parallel to the foot closest to the pitching mound.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to ball hitting stance training devices, more particularly, a ball hitting stance training device that teaches proper body form when a person is up to bat.

As in almost every sport, proper form and technique is essential to succeeding; baseball is no exception. In baseball, a comfortable stance and a proper loading phase are the key elements in successfully hitting the ball.

For a batter to develop batting skills, it is necessary that he or she learn a proper stance with respect to the home plate, a proper stride toward the pitcher's mound, the proper landing position for the stride foot as he or she swings the bat at the pitched ball and the ability to maintain his or her balance both during and after the swing of the bat.

When getting into the proper stance, the batter must have good plate coverage, maintain a depth in the batters box which emphasizes the strengths of the batter and have either an open, closed or square batting stance. Although most hitting coaches prefer the square batting stance wherein the batter's feet are parallel to the plate, a batter may find the open or closed stance more beneficial.

Perhaps more importantly, however, a batter must maintain the proper balance while in his or her stance and keeping the proper balance throughout the swing. When the batter begins his or her swing, which is referred to as “the loading phase”, the batter will slightly take his or hands back toward his or her back shoulder at shoulder height.

The loading phase begins with the batter's stride, which is the step he or she takes with his or her leading foot (the foot nearest the pitcher's mound as the batter stands facing home plate) away from his or her stationary pivot foot toward the back of the pitchers' mound to generate momentum towards the ball.

It is imperative that the stride foot move toward the pitcher, rather than towards third base. If the batter steps away from the imaginary line between his or her rear foot and the pitcher's plate towards third base, his or her bat coverage of the plate is reduced and he or she loses his or her ability to hit pitches in the middle or outer half of the plate because the batter's weight is shifted away from the hitting zone, thereby reducing his or her power. Additionally, the batter is in an exposed, unprotected position in the event a pitch hits the batter. With the proper stride toward the pitcher, the batter is in a position to turn his or her back and buttocks to the pitcher in the event the batter anticipates a pitch hitting him or her.

In addition, it is also imperative that when the stride foot lands on the ground the toe is pointed toward the plate. The position of the feet, specifically the lead foot, is the key to a good swing. With the stride foot moving toward the pitcher and the toe pointed toward the plate when the foot touches the ground, the batter's shoulders are properly aligned and the batter's weight is balanced as the hips turn, leading to the focusing of the batter's energy thorough the bat and into the strike zone.

On the other hand, if the toes are pointed toward the pitcher when the stride foot lands or the batter has stepped toward third base, rather than in a line toward the pitcher's mound, the front shoulder begins to open too soon, causing the batter's weight to move away from the strike zone and toward the batter's heels. The batter's weight, therefore, is not balanced over his or her original stance and, as a result, the batter is not in a position to strike the ball with maximum force in the strike zone. Additionally, the batter is, once again, in an exposed position with respect to pitches which may hit him or her.

Thus, the proper stance, stride and balance are the key elements to successful hitting. However, many batters find it difficult to master the proper stance and loading phase, even after much training and practice.

In addition, the proper landing position for the stride as the batter swings at a pitched ball and the ability to maintain his or her balance both during and after the swing of the bat are essential in delivering a good swing.

Thus, there exists the need for a device which teaches proper body form and stance when a person is preparing to bat a baseball.

The relevant prior art includes the following patents:

Patent No.
(U.S. unless stated otherwise)InventorIssue/Publication Date
5,385,343Davis, Sr.01-31-1995
4,194,735Wilson03-25-1980
6,422,872Outlaw07-23-2002
6,500,078Williams et al.12-31-2002
5,226,865Chin07-13-1993
5,645,511Le Roux et al.07-08-1997
5,158,512Irwin et al.10-27-1992
5,037,094Johnson08-06-1991

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary object of the present invention is to provide a ball hitting stance training device that teaches proper body form for a batter.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a ball hitting stance training device that is easy to use.

An even further object of the present invention is to provide a ball hitting stance training device that is sturdy.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a ball hitting stance training device that is lightweight.

An even further object of the present invention is to provide a ball hitting stance training device that is easy to carry.

An even further object of the present invention is to provide a ball hitting stance training device that is easy to store.

The present invention fulfills the above and other objects by providing a ball hitting stance training device comprised of a raised planar board having a stride foot target area on the top of the board. The targeted area provides the proper reference point for the stride foot. An optional batting tee and an optional audio feedback device further provide instruction as to proper batting technique.

To use the present invention, the user places the ball hitting stance training device on the ground such that it is perpendicular to the pitching mound and parallel to home plate. Then, the user steps onto the board and positions his or her feet within the target and swings at a pitch. If the user has an unbalanced swing technique or an incorrect stride, he or she will fall off the board.

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention should become even more readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the following detailed description in conjunction with the drawings wherein there is shown and described illustrative embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the following detailed description, reference will be made to the attached drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 in use;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 with an optional batting tee;

FIG. 5 is a top view of the embodiment of FIG. 4 positioned in front of home plate; and

FIG. 6 is a side view of the embodiment of FIG. 4 with an optional audio feedback device.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

For purposes of describing the preferred embodiment, the terminology used in reference to the numbered components in the drawings is as follows:

    • 1. ball hitting stance training
    • 2. top surface material
    • 3. target area
    • 4. handle opening
    • 5. storage opening
    • 6. support element material
    • 7. support element device
    • 8. batting tee
    • 9. batting tee opening
    • 10. audio feedback device
    • 11. speaker
    • 12. top surface
    • 13. bottom surface

With reference to FIG. 1, a perspective view of the present invention is shown. The ball hitting stance training device 1 has a top surface 12, which is preferably covered with an abrasive top surface material 2 such as turf, and a bottom surface 13. The top surface 12 has a handle opening 4, preferably oblong in shape, for easy transportability and a storage opening 5, preferably round in shape, for hanging the ball hitting stance training device 1 on a wall or other surface. A target area 3 for placement of the stride foot is preferably painted onto the top surface material 2, although the target area 3 may also be directly painted onto the top surface 12 of the ball hitting stance training device 1 or engraved in the top surface 12 so as to provide a lowered target area 3. In addition, only the outline of the target area 3 may be etched or painted into or onto the top surface 12. Support elements 7 are secured to the bottom surface 13 in order to raise the ball hitting stance training device 1 above the ground.

With respect to FIG. 2, a bottom view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 is shown. The bottom of the support elements 7 have an abrasive support element material 6 located thereon. Preferably, the abrasive support element material 6 is a plurality of spikes. The purpose of the abrasive support element material 6 is to prevent sliding of the ball hitting stance training device 1 on the ground.

In FIG. 3, a perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 in use is shown. The user simply positions the ball hitting stance training device 1 such that it is parallel to the home plate and perpendicular to the pitcher's mound (not shown). Then, the user stands on the ball hitting stance training device 1 and places his or her stride foot, which is the foot closest to the pitching mound, behind the target area 3 and places the other foot on the ball hitting stance training device 1 such that it is in line with the stride foot.

Next, FIG. 4 shows a side view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 with an optional batting tee 8. The batting tee 8 is preferably removably securable to the batting tee opening 9 on the ball hitting stance training device 1 and extends in a direction perpendicular to the ball hitting stance training device 1 out in front of home plate. The batting tee 8 is preferably height and length adjustable, perhaps telescopically, so as to accommodate a various-sized users. In addition, the batting tee 8 is preferably removable from the ball hitting stance training device 1.

With reference to FIG. 5, a top view of the embodiment of FIG. 4 positioned in front of home plate is shown. The batting tee 8 is rotatable about the batting tee opening 9 so as to give the most desirable position in front of home plate.

Finally, FIG. 6 shows a side view of the embodiment of FIG. 4 with an optional audio feedback device 10 and accompanying speaker 11. The audio feedback device 10 is connected to the ball hitting stance training device 1 such that if a user's stride foot lands on the correct spot, which is the target area 3, the audio feedback device 10 will inform the user that he or she has a correct stride motion.

To use the present invention, a user first places the ball hitting stance training device 1 such that it is perpendicular to a pitching mound and parallel to home plate. Then, the user steps onto the ball hitting stance training device 1 and positions his or her lead foot (the foot closest to the pitching mound) behind the target area 3 and positions the other foot on the ball hitting stance training device in a position parallel to the lead foot and swings at a pitch. If the user has an unbalanced swing technique or an incorrect stride, he or she will miss the target area 3 and fall off the board.

The use of the present invention will teach a batter to have and maintain the proper stance, stride and balance for successful hitting.

It is to be understood that while a certain form of the invention is illustrated, it is not to be limited to the specific form or arrangement of parts herein described and shown. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made without departing from the scope of the invention and the invention is not be considered limited to what is shown and described in the specification and drawings.





 
Previous Patent: Golf ball

Next Patent: Durable high performance hockey stick