Title:
Football reaction training device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A reaction timing training device for use in connection with the training of athletes such as football defensive lineman comprised of a visual training object having the general size and configuration of a regulation football. An elongated handle is removably connected to the visual training object with the handle being connected to the training object at an angle sufficient to allow for utilization of the device by a coach or trainer while maintaining an upright position. A hand grip is provided at the end of the handle to facilitate grasping of the handle by the user.



Inventors:
Nunnely, Wayne (San Diego, CA, US)
Smith, Chris (San Diego, CA, US)
Application Number:
09/519164
Publication Date:
11/07/2002
Filing Date:
03/06/2000
Assignee:
NUNNELY WAYNE
SMITH CHRIS
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B43/02; A63B69/00; (IPC1-7): A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FULWIDER PATTON LLP (LOS ANGELES, CA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed:



1. A reaction timing training device comprised of: A visual training object; an elongated handle, said handle being removably engaged with said training object; and said handle further including a hand grip positioned at the distal end of said handle.

2. The training device of claim 1 wherein said handle is comprised of at least two connected sections which may be disconnected during storage or transport.

3. The training device of claim 1 wherein said handle is connected to said training object at an angle of approximately 35 degrees from the horizontal axis of said training object.

4. The training device of claim 1 wherein the visual training object is a football.

5. A reaction timing training device comprised of: a football shaped training object; a handle engagement means provided within said training object for releasable engagement with a handle; and a handle, said handle having a mating engagement means for releasable engagement with said training object.

6. The reaction timing training device of claim 5 wherein said handle engagement means is comprised of a female thread pattern provided within a cylindrical recess in the body of said training object and a corresponding male thread pattern on said handle.

7. The reaction timing device of claim 5 wherein the handle engagement means is a threaded sleeve molded within the body of said training object.

8. The reaction timing training device of claim 5 wherein said engagement means is comprised of a bayonet coupling.

9. The reaction timing training device of claim 5 wherein said handle is comprised of at least two releasably connected sections.

10. The reaction timing training device of claim 5 wherein said handle is connected to said training device at an angle of approximately 35 degrees from the horizontal plane of the device.

11. The reaction timing training device of claim 5 wherein said handle includes a hand grip at the end distal from the training device.

12. The reaction timing training device of claim 5 further including a hook means at the end of said handle.

13. The reaction timing training device of claim 5 wherein said handle is comprised of at least two sections telescopically engaged together.

14. A reaction timing training device comprised of: a football shaped training object, including a hollow section and a solid section; a handle engagement means, said handle engagement means being positioned within the solid section of said training object; an elongated handle, said handle including an engagement means for releasable engagement with the engagement means positioned within said training object.

15. The reaction timing training device of claim 4 further including a handgrip positioned at the distal end of said handle.

16. The reaction timing training device of claim 4 wherein said handle is comprised of at least two releasably connected sections.

17. The reaction timing training device of claim 4 wherein the handle is connected to the training device at an angle of approximately 35 degrees from the longitudinal axis of said training device.

18. A reaction timing training device comprised of: a football shaped training object; a handle connected to said training object; a hand grip positioned at the distal end of said handle.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The subject invention relates to the field of athletic training devices and in particular to the field of response timing training devices.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] It has long been known to utilize training devices to enhance an individual's performance in various types of athletics. Devices for improving an athlete's basic skills and hand-eye coordination have been used in sports such as golf, baseball, soccer and football. Examples of various types of such devices are shown in Romanick, U.S. Pat. No. 5,830,091 for Sports Ball Throwing Training Device; Walker, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 4,561,661 for Soccer Training Device Especially For Head and Foot; Perry, U.S. Pat. No. 2,382,744 for Apparatus For Practicing Football Goal Kicking; and, May, U.S. Pat. No. 4,350,338 for Football Practice Aid. While the devices shown in these patents provide a means for the athlete to practice and thereby enhance his skills in terms of the specific physical movements or motions involved they do not provide for training in terms of the timing of the specific movement in response to the movement of a designated object.

[0005] In various sports the commencement of movement on the part of the athlete is predicated upon a certain event. In football the movement of the players is predicated upon the snap or movement of the ball from the center to the quarterback. Both offensive and defensive players are prohibited from forward movement across the line of scrimmage prior to the snapping of the ball.

[0006] To enhance their skills it has been recognized that it is advantageous to work with defensive lineman on responding to the snapping of the ball and commencing their forward movement across the line of scrimmage. By enhancing the individual's reaction time to the movement of the ball the individual's performance can be enhanced.

[0007] A need therefore exists for a training device which can be used by coaches to work with players to enhance their reaction time to the movement of the ball. One such device is shown in Monaco, U.S. Pat. No. 4,477,076 for Defensive Reaction Football Blocking Device. This device provides a blocking sled which utilizes a moveable ball and a moveable blocking dummy. The rearward movement of the ball results in a simultaneous forward movement of the blocking dummy to simulate the forward movement of an offensive lineman. While this device does provide for training defensive lineman to react to the movement of the football it suffers from the limitation that it is incorporated into a large cumbersome blocking sled type piece of equipment. It does not allow for varying types of drills to be performed in response to the movement of the ball nor does it allow for close interaction between the coaches and the players.

[0008] A need exists for a training device which can be used by coaches to train players, and in particular, defensive lineman, to react or move in response to the movement of the football without being restricted to a particular piece of equipment or training exercise.

[0009] Prior approaches utilized by coaches have centered on the coaches utilization of an actual football which the coach held in his hand and physically moved to simulate the snapping of the ball. These prior efforts, while allowing for a closer interaction between the coaches and the players suffered from the coaches having to kneel during the drill thereby providing them with a somewhat limited view of the players during the drill.

[0010] A need therefore exists for a reaction training device which can be utilized by coaches in close proximity to the player which also allows for the coach to remain in a more upright position to better view the players movements during the drills.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0011] The instant invention is a training device for use in connection with training exercises or drills involving the coordination of the movement of the individual with the movement of a reference object such as a ball. In connection with use as a football training device, the subject invention is comprised of a replica football like object having a handle receptacle means integrally formed within the body of the replica football and an elongated handle attached to said handle receptacle means. An elongated handle is provided for attachment to the replica football, said handle including an engagement means for removable engagement with the handle receptacle means of the replica football. The handle engages and intersects the replica football at an angle sufficient to allow the user of the device to extend the replica football forward in front of the user while remaining in an upright position, whereby the user of the device can more fully observe the actions of the individual being trained. A hand grip may be provided at the distal end of the handle.

[0012] For storage, repair, transport and/or replacement purposes the handle may be disengaged from the replica football.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] FIG. 1 is a side view of the embodiment of the present invention.

[0014] FIG. 2 is a front view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.

[0015] FIG. 3 is a top view illustrating the use of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.

[0016] FIG. 4 is a partial cross-section view illustrating the handle attachment of one embodiment of the invention, taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3.

[0017] FIG. 5 is a partial cross-sectional view of the handle attachment in an alternate embodiment of the subject invention.

[0018] FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional side view of an alternate embodiment of the subject invention.

[0019] FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional side view of the alternate embodiment illustrated in FIG. 6.

[0020] Numerous advantages and aspects of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the drawings which generally provide illustrations of the invention in its presently preferred embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0021] Referring now to FIGS. 1-3, a training device generally designed 10 is provided for utilization in training exercises or drills predicated on commencing movement or activity in response to the movement of a designated object. In the embodiments described herein, the training device includes a replica football 12 and is used in training exercises or drills involving defensive lineman. It is to be understood that another object could be substituted for replica football 12 for use in connection with training exercise for other sports. Handle 14 is provided which is attached to football 12. A handgrip 16 is provided at the end of the handle distal from replica football 12.

[0022] In the preferred embodiment replica football 12 is constructed to regulation size and specifics for the league or level of play at which the players being trained participate. By way of example, for use in connection with training players in the National Football League, replica football 12 will have the same size and other specific details of the actual football utilized by the National Football League. Similarly for use in connection with coaching college players the replica football will have the size and have the details of the actual collegiate football. The same specific sizing would extend to high school and other levels of football. The utilization of the same sized replica football as the players actually use will provide an added degree of realism to the training exercises.

[0023] Replica football 12 is preferably made from any number of durable plastics or foam. In a preferred embodiment, replica football is constructed as a solid piece of plastic or foam. In an alternate embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 football 12 is formed of solid portion 18 and hollow portion 20. In either embodiment, the solid portion of football 12 provides a rigid support for handle engagement means 20. In the embodiment shown handle engagement means 20 is a hollow cylindrical sleeve 22 have a female thread pattern 24. Cylindrical sleeve 22 may be integrally formed as part of the replica football 12 as shown in FIG. 5 or it may be separate component 21 which is formed into the solid portion 18 of football 12 during the molding process as shown in FIG. 6. In either embodiment the cylindrical sleeve 22 forms an integral part of the completed football 22.

[0024] In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 sleeve 22 may also be formed with either a closed or open end 23. In the closed end embodiment sleeve 22 ends at bottom surface 25. In the embodiment in which sleeve 22 is provided with an open end 23 sleeve 22 forms an open passageway through the solid portion 18 of replica football 12 into hollow portion 20. This allows for adding additional weight if desired, to replica football 12. Material such as foam, sand or other filler material can be placed within hollow portion 20 through the passageway formed by sleeve 22. As shown in FIG. 1 when the longitudinal axis of the football 12 is aligned in a horizontal plane, cylindrical sleeve 22 is positioned at angle α. In the preferred embodiment angle α is approximately 35 degrees. The angling of the handle 14 with respect to replica football 12 allows the user of the device, normally a coach, to remain in a more upright position during the training exercises.

[0025] As shown handle 14 is comprised of an elongated member 26 having a male thread pattern 28 at one end for engagement with handle engagement means 20, which in a preferred embodiment is comprised of female thread pattern 24. Those skilled in the art will recognize that other mating engagement means, such as bayonet coupling, could be substituted for the thread pattern engagement means shown in FIG. 1 without departing from the spirit of the subject invention. In yet another alternate embodiment of the invention the handle 14 may be non-removably attached to replica football 12 to prevent the accidental loss or misplacement of the handle.

[0026] Although handle 14 is shown as a single piece element in FIGS. 1 through 3, in alternate embodiments handle 14 may be formed from multiple sections which are joined together by means such as threaded connections, bayonet couplings or others known to those skilled in the art. The provision of a multiple section handle allows for handle 14 to be disassembled into smaller components for easier shipment or storage when not in use. In yet another embodiment handle 14 may be constructed in a telescoping configuration whereby for storage or shipping purposes a portion of handle 14 may telescope within the opposing portion of handle 14 allowing for the reduction in length of the handle.

[0027] For ease of use a hand grip 16 is provided at the distal end of handle 14. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 the hand grip 16 is constructed from rubber or any non-slip material which provides for a cushioned gripping area at the end of the handle. A hook 28 may be provided at the end of the handle 14 to allow for storage of the device by alternate means.

[0028] In use an individual (i.e., the coach) stands in front of the person being trained, with the football device 10 extended between the coach and the player. The coach initiates the training exercise by drawing the ball rearward towards himself. Upon the rearward movement of replica football 12 which is intended to simulate the snapping of the ball, the player commences his forward movement. By virtue of being is a standing position rather then being on his hands and knees or in a low crouch, the coach can better observe the movements of the player.

[0029] While several forms of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it will also be apparent that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Furthermore, while the preferred embodiment of the invention has been described in terms of the dimensions and cross-sectional configurations of various components of the invention it is understood that the invention is not intended to be limited to those specific dimensions or configurations but is intended to be accorded the full breath and scope of the claims appended hereto.