Title:
Hand-eye trainer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A ball connected to an elastic string is suspended at adjustable elevations relative to the ground for free swinging movement toward and away from a user for hand- and eye-coordination training.



Inventors:
Smith, Michael J. (Orangeburg, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/460344
Publication Date:
12/16/2004
Filing Date:
06/11/2003
Assignee:
SMITH MICHAEL J.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00; (IPC1-7): A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kirschstein, Israel, Schiffmiller & Pieroni, P.C. (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:

What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is set forth in the appended claims.



1. A hand-eye trainer, comprising: a) a ball; b) a string having a lower end region connected to the ball; and c) an overhead support connected to an upper region of the string above the lower end region, and operative for suspending the ball at adjustable elevations to enable free swinging movement of the ball toward and away from a user.

2. The trainer of claim 1, wherein the ball is a hollow ball.

3. The trainer of claim 1, wherein the string is an elastic string.

4. The trainer of claim 1, wherein the support is a hook.

5. The trainer of claim 1, wherein support is a suction cup.

6. The trainer of claim 1, wherein the lower end region of the string is knotted within the ball.

7. The trainer of claim 1, wherein the upper region of the string is knotted to the support.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention generally relates to a training device for training a user's eyes to coordinate with the user's hands.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] It is known to connect a tethered ball to a paddle held in a user's hand for repeated paddling. It is also known to tether a ball to a batting or golf tee mounted on or staked to the ground to more readily retrieve the ball after being struck. As advantageous as these tethered ball devices are in their play value, a need exists for more realistic training of hand-eye coordination.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

[0005] One object of this invention is to train hand- and eye-coordination for a user.

[0006] Another object of this invention is to provide an activity rich in play value.

FEATURES OF THE INVENTION

[0007] In keeping with these objects and others which will become apparent hereinafter, one feature of this invention resides, briefly stated, in a ball connected to a lower end region of a string. An upper region of the string above the lower end region is connected to an overhead support. The ball is suspended at adjustable elevations relative to the ground to enable free swinging ball movement toward and away from a user.

[0008] In use, the user pushes the ball away and strikes or catches the ball on its return. By making the string elastic, an element of unpredictability is imparted to the ball trajectory. Rather than using one's hand, a bat or a paddle or a racket can be used to strike the ball. Repeated catching or striking the ball trains the user's eyes to coordinate with the user's hands and also provides exceptionable play value and entertainment reward.

[0009] The novel features which are considered as characteristic of the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of one embodiment of a hand-eye trainer in accordance with this invention; and

[0011] FIG. 2 is a broken-away view of another embodiment of the trainer.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0012] Referring now to the drawings, reference numeral 10 generally identifies a ball, preferably a foam ball or a hollow rubber or plastic shell having openings 12 therethrough. A lower end region 14 of a string 16, preferably an elastic string, is connected to the ball. For example, the lower end region 14 is initially pushed through a hole in the ball with the aid of a pointed tool, and thereupon through one of the openings 12. A knot 18 is formed in the accessible lower end region, and then the tool is withdrawn. The string is pulled taut to position the knot against the inside surface of the ball adjacent the hole. The knot 18 being larger in effective cross-section than the hole fixes the ball in place at the lower end region. Alternately, the string can be pushed entirely through the ball and knotted outside the ball.

[0013] An overhead support 20, for example, a hook, is secured above a user. In a preferred embodiment, the hook has a threaded portion 22 for being threaded into a ceiling 24, or into an overhead beam in a patio area, or into a tree branch. To avoid the formation of threaded holes, another preferred embodiment uses hook- and loop-detachable fasteners, or a suction cup 26 instead of a threaded portion. The suction cup can non-destructively be secured to a ceiling, overhead beam, air duct, ceiling fan housing, light fixture 28 and just about any like overhead structure.

[0014] An upper region 30 of the string is secured to the support 20. The ball is suspended from the support by the string above the floor or ground for free swinging movement toward and away from the user. The elevation of the ball relative to the floor or ground is adjusted by selecting the exact location of the upper region of the string to secure to the support, typically by knotting the selected region of the string at knot 32 to the support.

[0015] Once the ball elevation is set, the user typically uses his/her hand to push the ball away and to strike or catch the ball on its return. The trajectory of the ball has full freedom of movement in all directions. The elasticity of the string causes it to stretch and contract unexpectedly. The user could also use a bat or a paddle or a racket to repeatedly strike the ball. The repeated catching and striking of the ball trains the hands and eyes of the user and is a fun-filled activity.

[0016] It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together, also may find a useful application in other types of constructions differing from the types described above.

[0017] While the invention has been illustrated and described as embodied in a hand-eye trainer, it is not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.

[0018] Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention and, therefore, such adaptations should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalence of the following claims.