Title:
Football sideline catching training aid
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device which aids the training of football pass receivers, in the desired ball catching and retaining posture, comprising a belt worn around the midsection of the player, attached cables or straps fastened to the belt, and supporting means attached to the cable or strap. The training device is designed for use by backfield players and ends, to aid in their training to remain inbounds when catching a thrown or kicked football, rather than touching or running beyond the sideline mark. The belt, cable or strap and support provided by the coach or trainer, or by a fixed support, allows the pass receiver to learn and practice leaning beyond the sideline marker while catching a thrown or kicked football, while remaining inbounds.



Inventors:
Horkan, Noel P. (New Windsor, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/455767
Publication Date:
03/11/2010
Filing Date:
06/06/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JAMES RUSSELL CLAYBROOK (P.O. BOX 843, NEW HAMPTON, NY, 10958, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A football pass catching training aid comprising in combination: a portable sideline marker strip and a belt to be worn around the midsection of a football pass receiver; a connecting means being attached to the posterior side of said belt; an attachment ring being connected to said connecting means; a first releasable fastener connected to said attachment means; a first loop of a support cable being connected to said first releasable fastener, said support cable having first and second ends, said first end having a first loop, and said second end having a second loop; said second loop of said cable being releasably connected to a second releasable fastener; said second releasable fastener being releasably connected to a dual grip support handle.

2. The device claimed in claim 1 wherein a dual grip support handle is not connected to the second releasable fastener, but the second releasable fastener is releasably connected to first and second single grip support handles.

3. The device as claimed in claim 1 wherein said first releasable fastener is not connected said one support cable, but said releasable fastener is connected to the first loops of first and second support cables, said second loop of said second support cable being connected to a fourth releasable fastener, said fourth releasable fastener being connected to a fourth single grip support handle.

4. The device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first releasable fastener is not connected to said support cable but to first and second eyes of a support strap, said support strap having a first end having a first eye, and a second end having a second eye, said support strap being designed to extend around a fixed support structure.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U. S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/131,237 filed Jun. 7, 2008.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a training aid and, more particularly, to, in combination, a belt worn around the midsection of the player, attached cable or strap attached to the posterior side of the belt having attached handles or fixed support, and a sideline marker strip, which together assist in teaching a player to assume a leaning posture when catching a passed or kicked football which is outside the sideline marker, while keeping the players' feet inside the sideline marker.

The desired posture of a football player who is receiving a passed or kicked football, which has or is likely to pass outside the marked sideline of the football playing field, is to keep both of the players feet inside the marked sideline, without touching the sideline marker, while maximizing the probability of successfully catching the football. The maneuver is essentially a carefully timed and controlled fall. This dynamic situation requires complex coordination of several actions, and is thus one of the most difficult and crucial tasks to successfully accomplish in football. Variation in placement of the player's feet by a fraction of an inch can determine whether the player's team wins first down status or loses that status to the opposing team, and can also determine whether the player's team wins a significant advance in field position. If the player fails to catch the football, the play is considered void, but if either of the player's feet touches the sideline marker before the player has control of the football, the play is also considered void.

The natural posture of an untrained player in running to catch a football is a nearly upright position, which allows maximum stride length. It is thus important that players receive effective training in the difficult skill of leaning past the sideline marker to successfully catch a thrown or kicked football, while keeping both feet inside of the sideline marker.

Tracy (U. S. Pat. No. 6,875,132) discloses a device designed to improve the posture of football players, but the described device is elaborate, may restrict the player's ability to run, and does not aid in ball-receiving techniques in relation to the sideline marker. Meatheringham (U.S. Pat. No. 4,211,017) and others disclose devices designed to encourage desired positioning of football players, but do not provide the combination of aids to training as described above.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In response to the needs described I have invented a training aid in the form of a support cable or cables, attached to a belt, said belt to be worn around the waist of a football player, specifically a football player training as a pass receiver, in combination with a portable sideline marker. The device of the invention is designed to encourage the player to assume a leaning rather than an upright posture while receiving the passed or kicked football, to remain in bounds by maintaining both feet near but not touching the nearby sideline marker and to maintain control of the football after it is caught.

An alternative embodiment provides support from a convenient fixed structure, for example a goal post, allowing the trainer or coach to observe the maneuver more effectively.

Another object of this invention is to provide a training aid, as aforesaid, which is simple in design, readily used and readily portable.

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 the device of the invention in use by a football player catching a football while not touching a sideline marker with either foot. A support cable is fastened at its first end to the rear of a belt, secured around the waist of the football player, and the cable is connected at its second end to a support handle, having grips for each hand, which a coach or trainer may use to restrain the player from touching the sideline marker while leaning to receive the thrown or kicked football. An alternative embodiment may have fastened to the belt two support cables, each having connected a grip for one hand, which a coach or trainer may similarly use to restrain the player in a similar way.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the rear connector assembly, showing the attachment of the rear connector to the belt, and the attachment of the rear support ring to the rear connector.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the dual grip support handle, showing the attachment of the two support handle grips to the support handle plate, and the support handle fastener hole, which is used for connection to the support cable through the second releasable fastener.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the device of the invention, having fastening means at the first and second ends of a support restraining strap, said support strap extending around a fixed structure, such as a goal post, which may serve to restrain the player from touching the sideline marker while leaning to receive the thrown or kicked football.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Turning more particularly to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows the belt assembly 4, secured around the waist of the football pass receiver 1 by the belt fastener 6. The belt fastener 6 is attached to the first end of the belt 5, and is fastened to the second end of the belt 5. The football pass receiver 1 is receiving a thrown football 3, while the football pass receiver's feet 1A are not in contact with the portable sideline marker 2. FIG. 1 also shows the rear connector 8, the rear connector ring 9, the first releasable fastener 12, the second releasable fastener 16, the support cable 13 and the first and second support cable loops, 14 and 15, and the dual grip support handle 17, having two grips to enable a coach or trainer to support the football pass receiver using two hands.

FIG. 2 shows the attachment of the rear connector 8 to the rear portion of the belt 5, by first and second fasteners, 11A and 11B, and the connection of the rear connector ring 9 to the rear connector 8 through the rear connector ring hole 10.

FIG. 3 shows the dual grip support handle 17, the support handle plate 18, the support handle fastener hole 19, the first and second support handle grips, 20A and 20B, the first, second, third and fourth support handle grip braces, 21A, 21B, 22A and 22B.

FIG. 4 shows an alternative support to the support cable and support handles shown in FIG. 1, the support strap assembly 23 being designed to extend around a fixed support, for example a goal post, to provide support without need for a coach or trainer. The support strap 23 is extended around a fixed support, and the first releasable fastener 12 is connected to first and second ends, 26A and 26B, of the support strap 24, by inserting said first releasable fastener through first and second support strap eyes, the first support strap end 26A having a first support strap eye 25A and the second support strap end 26B having a second support strap 25B. The support strap eyes are preferably formed by doubling the said ends of the support strap 24 to form loops, and attaching said ends to said support straps, preferably by stitching or adhesive. The releasable fasteners are preferably conventional snap links, designed to be opened and closed by spring-actuated lever sections 12A, or conventional threaded quick links.

The belt 5 may be of any strong and flexible material, preferably a woven thermoplastic. The belt fastener 6 may have loop type fastening elements attached to a first end of the belt 5 and complementary hook type fastening elements attached to a second end of the belt 5, or the hook and loop configuration may be reversed, or the belt 5 may be secured by a conventional buckle, snap latch or any other fastening means of adequate strength.

The support cable 13 may be of any strong and flexible material and is preferably plastic coated steel cable. Other strong and flexible materials, including strong bungee straps, may be used.

The support strap 23 can be any strong and flexible material having a surface having frictional resistance adequate to resist slipping on a conventional painted surface, preferably heavy woven thermoplastic material.

The rear connector ring 9, releasable fasteners 12 and 16, and support handle 17 may be of any strong material, but are preferably of metal or a strong composite thermoplastic.

The sideline marker 2 may be of any strong and flexible material, preferably of a flexible thermoplastic and most preferably of white polyvinyl plastic. The sideline marker 2 must have enough weight to remain in the location in which it is placed on the playing field, during a slight breeze. Alternatively, said sideline marker may be fixed to the playing field by spikes inserted into the playing field.

In use of the device, the belt 5 is secured around the pass receiver's waist by fastening the belt fastener 6 and placing the sideline marker 2 at a desired location on the practice or playing field. The coach or trainer instructs the pass receiver 1 to face the sideline marker 2 with the pass receiver's feet near the sideline marker 2.

The coach or trainer holds the support handle 17, with one grip in each hand, and while supporting the pass receiver's body 1 by way of said support cable 13, instructs the pass receiver 1 to lean forward, with a portion of his body 1 extending over the sideline marker 2, while instructing a football passer to throw a football towards the pass receiver, with the football passer providing the trajectory of the football 3 to be on the other side of the sideline marker 6 from the pass receiver 2. The pass receiver attempts to catch the pass, while maintaining the initial position of his feet 5, and not touching the sideline marker 2 with either foot.

The device of the invention encourages the desired receiving and retaining of the football 3, and the desired stance and posture of the player 1.

The device of the invention is simple and readily portable.

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 claims and allowable functional equivalents thereof.