Title:
Soccer training target, method for practicing kicking using same, and method for advertising using same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The subject matter described herein includes a soccer training target, a method for practicing kicking using same, and a method for advertising using same. According to one aspect of the subject matter described herein, a soccer training target is provided. The soccer training device includes a target panel having a front surface, a rear surface, and a hole for hanging the target panel from a soccer net, the target panel comprising a rigid member. At least one visual target is located on the target panel, where the target panel is configured to receive impact from soccer balls during kicking practice. An attachment device is insertable into the at least one hole for hanging the target panel from the soccer net.



Inventors:
Prince, Donnie Travis (Wilson, NC, US)
Application Number:
12/008039
Publication Date:
07/09/2009
Filing Date:
01/08/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Jenkins, Wilson, Taylor & Hunt, P.A. (3015 Carrington Mill Boulevard Suite 550, Morrisville, NC, 27560, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A soccer training target comprising: a target panel having a front surface, a rear surface, and including at least one hole for hanging the target panel from a soccer net, the target panel comprising a rigid member; at least one visual target on the target panel and the target panel being configured to receive impact from a soccer ball during kicking practice; and an attachment device being insertable into the at least one hole for hanging the target panel from the soccer net.

2. The soccer training target of claim 1 wherein the target panel includes a circular disc.

3. The soccer training target of claim 1 wherein the target panel includes a single hole located in an upper center portion of the target panel.

4. The soccer training target of claim 1 wherein the target panel includes two holes symmetrically located in upper-right and upper-left portions of the target panel.

5. The soccer training target of claim 1 wherein the target panel includes four holes symmetrically located in each quadrant of the target panel.

6. The soccer training target of claim 1 wherein the target panel includes a single visual target centrally located on the front surface of the target panel.

7. The soccer training target of claim 1 wherein the target panel includes a visual target centrally located on each of the front and rear surfaces of the target panel.

8. The soccer training target of claim 1 wherein the target panel includes multiple visual targets on at least one surface of the target panel.

9. The soccer training target of claim 1 wherein the attachment device includes one of a loop of string, a loop of wire, a hook, and a clamp.

10. The soccer training target of claim 1 wherein the front surface of the target panel has a surface area substantially equal to an area encompassed by a great circle of the soccer ball.

11. A method for practicing kicking a soccer ball, the method comprising: placing, on a soccer net, a target panel having a front surface, a rear surface, and including at least one hole for hanging the target panel from a soccer net, the target panel comprising a rigid member, at least one visual target on the target panel and the target panel being configured to receive impact from a soccer ball during kicking practice, and an attachment device being insertable into the at least one hole for hanging the target panel from the soccer net; and visually focusing on the visual target and kicking a soccer ball at the target panel in a direction corresponding to the focusing.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein placing the target panel on the soccer net includes placing a circular disc on the soccer net.

13. The method of claim 11 wherein placing the target panel on the soccer net includes placing a target panel including a single hole located in an upper center portion of the target panel.

14. The method of claim 11 wherein placing the target panel on the soccer net includes placing a target panel including two holes symmetrically located in upper-right and upper-left portions of the target panel.

15. The method of claim 11 wherein placing the target panel on the soccer net includes placing a target panel including four holes symmetrically located in each quadrant of the target panel.

16. The method of claim 11 wherein placing the target panel on the soccer net includes placing a target panel including a single visual target centrally located on the front surface of the target panel.

17. The method of claim 11 wherein placing the target panel on the soccer net includes placing a target panel including a visual target centrally located on each of the front and rear surfaces of the target panel.

18. The method of claim 11 wherein placing the target panel on the soccer net includes placing a target panel including multiple visual targets on at least one surface of the target panel.

19. The method of claim 11 wherein placing the target panel on the soccer net includes attaching the target panel using one of a loop of string, a loop of wire, a hook, and a clamp.

20. The method of claim 11 wherein placing the target panel on the soccer net includes placing a target panel having a front surface having a surface area substantially equal to an area encompassed by a great circle of the soccer ball.

21. A method of advertising at least one of an entity, a product, a service, or an event to soccer players, the method comprising: placing logos for an entity, a product, a service, or an event on each of a plurality of soccer training targets, each training target comprising: a target panel having a front surface, a rear surface, and including at least one hole for hanging the target panel from a soccer net, the target panel comprising a rigid member; at least one visual target on the target panel and the target panel being configured to receive impact from a soccer ball during kicking practice; and an attachment device being insertable into the at least one hole for hanging the target panel from the soccer net; and distributing a plurality of the soccer training targets having the logos to soccer players.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The subject matter described herein relates to soccer training devices, methods for using such devices to practice kicking, and methods for advertising using such devices. More particularly, the subject matter described herein relates to a soccer training target, and a method for practicing kicking using same, and a method for advertising using same.

BACKGROUND

In different sports, aiming and focusing on a target is often critical success. For example, in soccer, in order to successfully kick a ball into the goal, a soccer player may visually focus on a portion of the soccer net inside the goal before kicking the ball in order to prevent the goalkeeper from blocking the shot. For example, soccer players often focus shots on a particular portion of the net in order to kick the soccer ball in a desired direction. By aiming and focusing on a portion of the goal, rather than the entire goal, the player increases his or her chances of scoring a goal.

Current soccer training targets are of various types. For example, many devices attach to the frame of the soccer goal. However, such devices lack one or more desirable features, such as a visual target located at the back of the goal on which a soccer player can focus and a design which is ergonomic, easily portable, and suitable for branding.

Yet another problem in the area of advertising is finding new ways to advertise to desirable advertising targets. Soccer players typically represent an important, youthful, and athletic advertising market. Accordingly, entities may desire to market products, services, events or the entities themselves to soccer players, for example at soccer games. It is common practice at soccer games to distribute soccer related products that are branded with company logos. For example, hats or other articles of clothing or soccer balls may be branded with company logos. However, each of these products are disposable and have limited useful lives. Accordingly, there exists a need for new ways to market a product, a service, an entity, or an event to soccer players.

In light of these difficulties, there exists a long felt need for a soccer training target, a method for practicing kicking using same, and a method for advertising using same.

SUMMARY

The subject matter described herein includes a soccer training target, a method for practicing kicking a soccer ball using same, and a method for advertising using same.

According to one aspect of the subject matter described herein, a soccer training target is provided. The soccer training device includes a target panel having a front surface, a rear surface, and a hole for hanging the target panel from a soccer net, the target panel comprising a rigid member. At least one visual target is located on the target panel, where the target panel is configured to receive impact from soccer balls during kicking practice. An attachment device is insertable into the at least one hole for hanging the target panel from the soccer net.

According to yet another aspect, the subject matter described herein includes a method for advertising at least one of an entity, a product, a service or an event to soccer players. The method includes placing a logo for an entity, a product, a service, or an event on each of a plurality of soccer training targets, where each soccer training target comprises target panel having a front surface, a rear surface, and a hole for hanging the target panel from a soccer net, the target panel comprising a rigid member. There also being a visual target on the target panel for providing a soccer player with an area of visual focus and being configured to receive impact from soccer balls during kicking practice and. The method further includes distributing the soccer training targets with the logos to soccer players.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Preferred embodiments of the subject matter described herein will now be explained with reference to the accompanying drawings of which:

FIG. 1 is a front view of a soccer training target according to an embodiment of the subject matter described herein;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a soccer training target according to an embodiment of the subject matter described herein;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a soccer field including a soccer goal including a soccer training target according to an embodiment of the subject matter described herein; and

FIG. 4 is a flow chart illustrating an exemplary method for kicking a soccer ball using a soccer training target according to an embodiment of the subject matter described herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The subject matter described herein includes a soccer training target, a method for practicing kicking using same, and a method for advertising using same.

FIG. 1 is a front view of a soccer training target according to an embodiment of the subject matter described herein. Referring to FIG. 1, soccer training target 100 includes a target panel 102 having a front surface, a rear surface, and holes 104 penetrating target panel 102 for hanging target panel 100 from a soccer net. Target panel 102 comprises a rigid member so that when struck with a soccer ball during kicking practice, a successful kick may be indicated by the rebound of the ball from the rigid target panel and/or the sound made by the impact of the soccer ball on the target panel. An attachment device 106 may be inserted into holes 104 for attaching target panel 102 to a soccer net. Additionally, target panel 102 may include a visual target for providing a soccer player with an area of visual focus. In the illustrated example, visual target 108 comprises the number “2” located on the front surface of target panel 102. However, any suitable visual target may be used. For example, visual target 108 may be a logo for an entity, product, service, or event where soccer training target 102 is used for advertising purposes. In addition, visual target 108 may be painted on target panel 102, etched in target panel 102, or adhered to target panel 102, in the case of a decal. Thus, visual target 108 may be any of at least two dimensions on which a soccer player can focus during kicking practice. It is further appreciated that visual target 108 may be located on either the front or rear surface of target panel 102, or may include multiple visual targets 108 on the same surface without departing from the scope of the subject matter described herein.

Target panel 100 may be made of any suitable material. Desirable characteristics of such a material are rigidity, low manufacturing costs, durability, and the ability to withstand impact from a soccer ball. For example, it is desirable for a soccer ball to impact target panel 102 under a variety of temperatures and weather conditions without cracking or breaking. Exemplary material suitable for use as target panel 102 includes a plastic material, such as polyvinylchloride.

Although in the example illustrated in FIG. 1, target panel 102 is a circular disc, the subject matter described herein is not limited to providing a circular disc-shaped target panel 102. In one embodiment, target panel 102 may have a front surface having a surface area substantially equal to an area encompassed by a great circle of a soccer ball, where the great circle is the circle described by the intersection of the surface of the soccer ball with a plane passing through the center of the soccer ball. Thus, for example, a regulation-sized soccer ball may have a circumference of approximately 27 inches, and target panel 102 may therefore encompass an area substantially equal to that encompassed by the 27 inch great circle associated with the soccer ball. Additionally, target panel 102 may include any number of straight edges, angles, or compound curves without departing from the scope of the subject matter described herein. In addition, as described above, although in the example illustrated in FIG. 1, only a single visual target 108 is illustrated, multiple visual targets 108 may be located on target panel 102. For example, training target 100 may include two visual targets located on opposite sides of target panel 102 to provide contrasting visual targets for a soccer player during kicking practice.

Attachment device 106 may include any suitable means for attaching target panel 102 to a soccer net. For example, attachment device 106 may include a loop of string or wire, a hook, a fastener, or a clamp for inserting into holes 104 and around at least a portion of a soccer net. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, attachment device 106 includes a single loop of string, which may be composed of a flexible and durable synthetic fiber material similar to the material used in a soccer net. Such material compatibility helps ensure that during soccer kicking practice, the repeated impact of soccer balls on target 100 and the resulting movement of target 100 does not cut or otherwise damage the soccer net to which target 100 is attached.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a soccer training target according to an embodiment of the subject matter described herein. In FIG. 2, target panel 102 is substantially flat for receiving a visual target 108, which, in the illustrated example, is the number “2,” however, any suitable logo may be placed on target panel 102 to market a product, a service, an entity, or an event to soccer players at a soccer event. In one embodiment, target panel 102 may be approximately 14 of one inch thick in order to be lightweight and highly portable, yet durable enough to receive impact from soccer balls during kicking practice. An exemplary method for marketing a product, a service, an entity, or an event to soccer players at a soccer event will be described in more detail below.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a soccer field including a soccer goal including a soccer training target according to an embodiment of the subject matter described herein. For example, training target 100 may be located inside a soccer net 300 for being struck by a soccer ball 304 kicked by soccer player 302. In order to use training target 100 for practicing kicking a soccer ball, soccer player 302 may attach training target 100 to a soccer net via attachment device 106. Soccer player 302 may then kick a soccer ball 304 towards training target 100 by visually focusing on target 108, adjusting the angle of his foot based on the direction of focus, returning to focus on the ball, and then completing the kick by impacting the ball with the foot so that the ball travels in the direction of focus of target 108. When soccer player 302 completes kicking practice, soccer player 302 can easily detach training target 100 from soccer net 300 and store it for future practice. Thus, the simplicity and lightweight design of training target 100 provides a flexible design that increases the portability of training target 100.

FIG. 4 is a flow chart of exemplary steps for practicing kicking a soccer ball using a soccer training target according to an embodiment of the subject matter described herein. Referring to FIG. 4, in block 400, a target panel is placed on a soccer net of a soccer goal. For example, training target 100 may be attached to a soccer net via attachment device 106. A soccer player may then focus on visual located on target panel 102 and kick a soccer ball in the direction of the focusing.

As stated above, a soccer training target may be used to market a product, a service, an entity or event to soccer players. For example, a logo for an entity, a product, a service, or an event is placed on each of a plurality of soccer training targets, each target panel 102 having a front surface, a rear surface, and holes 104 penetrating the front and rear surfaces for hanging target panel 100 from a soccer net, the target panel comprising a rigid member. An attachment device 106 may be inserted into holes 104 for attaching target panel 102 to a soccer net. Target panel 102 may include a visual target on the front surface and the front surface being configured to receive impact from soccer balls during kicking practice. The logo may be a company logo, a college or university logo, a sports organization or team logo, a product or service logo, a geographic logo, an event logo, etc. The logo may be placed on either surface of member 100 illustrated in FIGS. 1-3 above.

The soccer training target may then be distributed to soccer players. Distributing the soccer training target to soccer players may include distributing the device to soccer players through any suitable distribution channel. For example, the soccer training target may be distributed at registration for a soccer event without charge to soccer players. Distributing the device without charge means that substantially all of the soccer players in the soccer event will receive a soccer training target and will likely keep the soccer training target. In addition, unlike disposable media, such as soccer balls or articles of clothing that can be branded with a logo at a soccer event, a soccer training target is more likely to be kept by a soccer player and repeatedly used for kicking practice. In another example, a university, a sports team, or other organization may sell soccer training targets branded with their respective logos over the Internet or in a brick and mortar retail store.

It will be understood that various details of the presently disclosed subject matter may be changed without departing from the scope of the presently disclosed subject matter. Furthermore, the foregoing description is for the purpose of illustration only, and not for the purpose of limitation.