Title:
Sports ball throwing and pitching training device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A machine designed to aid as a training device to correct deficiencies for throwing and/or hitting a variety of sports balls. The machine is also designed to aid in physical therapy of shoulder related injuries. The flexible rope handle allows the apparatus to self correct because of centripetal acceleration of the circular motion. The flexible rope handle can be used alone by inserting your hand through it or by attaching a wide variety of sports ball or handles. The flexible rope handle will automatically tighten to your hand when in use to avoid the apparatus from flying off. A padded cylinder body to eliminate injury, A variable length rope handle and a variable length cylinder body allowing for multiple uses by a wide variety of users, and an end mounted weight, which can be varied based on sport and individual need.



Inventors:
Farnsworth, Steven Lee (Tualatin, OR, US)
Roudybush, Kenneth Arthur (Amity, OR, US)
Application Number:
11/271175
Publication Date:
05/10/2007
Filing Date:
11/10/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/423, 473/424, 473/425, 473/450, 473/451, 473/458, 473/464
International Classes:
A63B69/00; A63B67/20; A63B69/38
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STEVEN L. FARNSWORTH (TUALATIN, OR, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A machine designed to aid as a training device to correct deficiencies for throwing and/or hitting a variety of sports balls. The machine is also designed to aid in physical therapy of shoulder related injuries, comprising: the flexible rope handle allows the apparatus to self correct because of centripetal acceleration of the circular motion; the flexible rope handle can be used alone by inserting your hand through it or by attaching a wide variety of sports ball or handles; the flexible rope handle will automatically tighten to your hand when in use to avoid the apparatus from flying off; a padded cylinder body to eliminate injury; a variable length rope handle and a variable length cylinder body allowing for multiple uses by a wide variety of users; and an end mounted weight, which can be varied based on sport and individual need..

2. A machine designed to teach correct pitching and throwing mechanics to develop a perfect pitching and throwing plane that will increase ball speed and accuracy.

3. A machine designed to build correct muscle memory through repetitions of correct arm mechanics.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This is a continuation of Ser. No. 60/569,720, filed on Mar. 11, 2004, and is also based on provisional application Ser. No. 60/569720, filed on Mar. 11, 2004.

A machine designed to aid as a training device to correct deficiencies for throwing and/or hitting a variety of sports balls. The machine is also designed to aid in physical therapy of shoulder related injuries.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable

DESCRIPTION OF ATTACHED APPENDIX

Not applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to the field of sports and more specifically to a machine designed to aid as a training device to correct deficiencies for throwing and/or hitting a variety of sports balls. The machine is also designed to aid in physical therapy of shoulder related injuries.

Sports training for pitching, throwing and hitting has evolved over the years from individual training to highly specialized coaches. The theory of sports training is to build correct muscle memory during training and this will translate into correct muscle movement during an athletic event and produce the desired result. Training incorrectly will build incorrect muscle memory and will result in less than desired results during an athletic event. Millions of dollars are spent annually, by athletes, to their specialized coaches for their expertise to improve through training, correct muscle memory.

Sports training for pitching, throwing and hitting consists of repetitive cycles of pitching, throwing and hitting. Training must be observed and corrected as needed to insure that the correct muscle memory is being created. Training sessions need to be long to insure that muscle memory is being developed by consistency, which can only be developed by a large number of correctly done repetitions.

The sports throwing training device as depicted in U.S. Pat. No. 6,024,660 is a rigid not flexible and not self correcting, training device. This device is more directly involved with the wrist snap motion than with the development of a throwing plane.

Very few training devices exist to aid in the development of correct muscle memory. Most existing training devices are geared toward building muscle mass. No current training devices are self correcting forcing the building of correct muscle memory. Some existing devices are large, heavy and bulky and don't lend themselves to portability. Most existing training devices require an extensive amount of time to train because rapid repetitive motion is not allowed. A coach is necessary to insure proper and correct muscle memory is being built. Most existing technologies can not be performed without the aid of one or more additional individuals which requires an individual to schedule their training around other peoples schedules.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary object of the invention is a self correcting training apparatus for throwing a variety of sports balls to develop a perfect pitching or throwing plane.

Another object of the invention is a training apparatus that is self correcting that can eliminate bad pitching or throwing habits learned over years of practice.

Another object of the invention is a training apparatus that is perfect for beginners because it will not allow bad habits to form because it forces the user into a correct throwing and pitching plane.

A further object of the invention is it develops correct muscle memory of the ball throwing motion.

Yet another object of the invention is it develops correct swinging muscle memory of a struck ball as in tennis, volleyball, etc.

Still yet another object of the invention is that it develops a strong wrist snap to increase ball speed.

Another object of the invention is it increases ball pitching speed by perfecting the pitching plane.

Another object of the invention is it decreases training time from hours to minutes by allowing a pitcher to replicate up to 100 pitches per minute by continuing the pitching circular motion and not having to stop between pitches.

A further object of the invention is that it requires no retrieval of the ball because it remains attached to your hand.

Yet another object of the invention is that a variety of balls or handles can be attached to allow the user to grip the exact same ball or handle that is used in their particular sport.

Still yet another benefit of the invention is that no catcher is necessary for a pitcher to warm up.

Another object of the invention is that a relief pitcher can warm up in a few minutes and be ready to enter a game.

Another object of the invention is that the apparatus is perfect for general arm warm up prior to practice or game.

A further object of the invention is that the apparatus is beneficial for conditioning of the arm and shoulder.

Yet another object of the invention is that the apparatus is beneficial for rehabilitation and conditioning of the shoulder because it forces the shoulder movement into the correct circular motion that reduces the stress on the joint and increases flexibility.

Still yet another object of the invention is that the apparatus is beneficial for physical therapy of shoulder related injuries.

Other objectives, benefits and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following descriptions, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein, by way of illustration and example, an embodiment of the present invention is disclosed.

In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, there is disclosed a machine designed to aid as a training device to teach correct mechanics and to correct deficiencies for throwing and/or hitting a variety of sports balls. The machine is also designed to aid in physical therapy of shoulder related injuries. Comprising: The flexible rope handle allows the apparatus to self correct because of centripetal acceleration of the circular motion, The flexible rope handle can be used alone by inserting your hand through it or by attaching a wide variety of sports ball or handles, The flexible rope handle will automatically tighten to your hand when in use to avoid the apparatus from flying off, A padded cylinder body to eliminate injury, A variable length rope handle and a variable length cylinder body allowing for multiple uses by a wide variety of users, and an end mounted weight, which can be varied based on sport and individual need.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments to the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. It is to be understood that in some instances various aspects of the invention may be shown exaggerated or enlarged to facilitate an understanding of the invention.

FIG. <1> is a plan view of the invention.

FIG. <2> is an exploded view of the invention.

FIG. <3> is a perspective view of the invention in use.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Detailed descriptions of the preferred embodiment are provided herein. It is to be understood, however, that the present invention may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but rather as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed system, structure or manner.

In accordance with the present invention, FIG. 1 shows a plan view of the sports ball throwing training device, which due to its design of a unique flexible rope handle [10] and end mounted weight [15] correctly self aligns the pitching or throwing arm plane resulting in correct throwing mechanics, correct muscle memory and increased ball speed. FIG. 2 shows a exploded view to better depict the internal mechanism of the devise.

The sports ball throwing training device is comprised of an end mounted weight [15] secured in a recessed plastic end piece [14]. The end mounted weight [15] is held in place by the flexible rope handle [10] which passes through the recessed end piece [14]. The recessed plastic end piece [14] and the end mounted weight [15] are protected from striking the user by a padded foam cylinder [12] whose length can be varied based on sport and age/size of user. A plastic alignment cap [16] is inserted into the opposite end of the foam cylinder [12] to insure that the flexible rope handle [10] remains in alignment between the end mounted weight [14] and the sports ball or handle [11]. The foam cylinder [12] is made more attractive with two decorative soft plastic end caps [13] and by adding decals. Sound emitting devices and lights can be added to the outside or imbedded into the foam cylinder [12] for audible or visual feedback during use. Speed sensors and be added to the foam cylinder [12] to keep track of the maximum or average arm speed during a training session.

The operation of sports ball throwing training device may be understood upon reference to FIG. 3 which shows the device in use. The hand is inserted through the rope handle [10] and the ball or handle is gripped in the same manner as during a sporting event. As the machine is rotated in a circular motion the flexible rope handle [10] is automatically tightened to the hand insuring that the device will not come off. The rotation of the device pulls the arm, by centripetal acceleration of the end mounted weight [15], to the maximum radial position of the arm, which has been found to be the optimum pitching and throwing plane. The device may be rotated in an overhand motion to simulate the arm action of sports such as baseball, tennis and volleyball and it may be rotated in an underhand motion to simulate the arm action of softball pitchers. The training device self corrects to the optimum rotation plane in either direction.

The sports ball throwing training device allows a user to train without supervision to develop correct throwing mechanics in a greatly reduced time frame by allowing up to 100 simulated correct throws in one minutes time. This machine is perfect for beginners to learn the correct throwing mechanics and to build correct muscle memory from the start and to not develop bad habits. Individuals who have not had proper training and have developed sever deficiencies in proper mechanics can be retrained with this device. Old bad habits can be replaced with correct throwing mechanics and the incorrect muscle memory can be relearned. This machine is also perfect for advanced students of the game because imperfections in the throwing plane can be eliminated and replaced with the perfect plane, which results in better accuracy and greater speed.

Improper throwing mechanics increase stress to the body, which can result in minor to severe injury and loss of playing time. Sports related throwing injuries can be reduced or eliminated by learning proper throwing mechanics. This sports ball throwing training device improves and corrects proper throwing mechanics and thereby reduces the risk of injury.

The sports ball throwing training device is not limited to the field of sports training. Subsequently the sports ball throwing training device is being tested and evaluated as a physical therapy tool for shoulder related injuries. Use of this device is showing promise by reducing stress and increasing flexibility and endurance of the shoulders ball and socket joint and aiding to the recovery of shoulder related injuries.

While the invention has been described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the particular form set forth, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.