Title:
Sports swing training aid
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Sports swing training aid with a resilient cushion, the cushion at least four,inches thick with two parallel flat surfaces of at least 430 square inches, the cushion enclosed in a tough, durable fabric and having standard attachment devices affixed to each corner of one side of the flat parallel surface . A preferred embodiment includes the resilient rectangular cushion is constructed of an internal block of polyurethane foam and covered by abrasion resistant nylon or canvas with four D rings located on the corners of one parallel side.



Inventors:
Prichard, Robert (Tiburon, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/290069
Publication Date:
05/31/2007
Filing Date:
11/29/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/451, 473/459
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
CHIU, RALEIGH W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Robert Prichard (Tiburon, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. sports swing training aid comprising: a resilient cushion; said cushion at least four inches thick with two parallel flat surfaces of at least 430 square inches; said cushion enclosed in a tough, durable fabric and having standard attachment devices affixed to each corner of one side of said flat parallel surface.

2. Sports swing training aid as claimed in claim 1 wherein said resilient cushion is constructed of an internal block of polyurethane foam and covered by abrasion resistant nylon or canvas.

3. Sports swing training aid as claimed in claim 1 wherein said cushion is constructed of an air bladder.

4. Sports swing training aid as claimed in claim 1 wherein said cushion is approximately 24 inches wide and 18 inches high and 5 inches thick.

5. Sports swing training aid as claimed in claim 1 wherein said cushion is rectangular in shape.

6. Sports swing training aid as claimed in claim 2 wherein said abrasion resistant coating is polyurethane.

7. Sports swing training aid as claimed in claim 1 wherein said standard attachment means are D rings.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

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 practice aids and more specifically to a sports swing training aid.

For a tennis player to hit a ball with the most efficiency, it requires that the player hit the ball with the racquet face parallel to an invisible vertical plane that is perpendicular to the ground.

If the racquet face is turned up, the ball will go out of the court. If the racquet face is turned down, the ball will go into the net. Because the swing is so fast, the player is not able to see whether or not the face is vertical at impact.

Prior technology in this field includes videotaping the swing with a camcorder with a high-speed shutter. However, the method is costly, time consuming, and not very practical. Another alternative is to hire an instructor, but that is also expensive. There is a need, therefore, for a simple device that provides immediate feedback to the player as to whether or not the racquet is vertical at impact.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary object of the invention is to provide a swing training aid that gives immediate feedback to a tennis player as to whether on not the player's racquet is vertical at impact.

Another object of the invention is to provide a swing training aid that gives the tennis player a convenient method for practicing his or her swing without having to chase balls, hire a ball gun, hit balls against a wall, or find someone to hit balls to them.

Another object of the invention is to provide a swing training aid that allows a tennis player to safely develop maximum racquet speed without fear of hitting a ball out of the court or over a fence.

A further object of the invention is to provide a swing training aid that gives the tennis player experience in hitting high, low and medium balls without having to chase balls, find a hitting partner or hire a tennis instructor or ball gun.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a swing training aid that encourages a tennis player to experiment with different types of body movement in order to generate greater racquet head speed peed.

Still yet another object of the invention is to provide a swing training aid that gives immediate feedback to the tennis player as to the speed of his or her racquet at impact.

Another object of the invention is to provide a swing training aid that provides an efficient means to practice a tennis serve without having to chase balls and yet still have a target to hit.

Another object of the invention is to provide a swing training aid that is lightweight and portable.

A further object of the invention is to provide a swing training aid that can be easily used at the tennis court or at home.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a swing training aid that is inexpensive to manufacture.

Other objects 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 sports swing training aid comprising: a resilient rectangular cushion, said cushion at least four inches thick with two parallel flat surfaces at at least 430 square inches, said cushion enclosed in a tough, durable fabric and having D ring type attachment rings affixed to each corner of one side of said flat parallel surface.

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 front plan view of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a side section view of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a partial perspective view of the D ring holding method of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a person hitting the invention with a tennis racquet.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a person hitting the invention incorrectly with a racquet.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a person using the invention in a high serve position.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a person using the invention for batting practice.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the present invention attached to a chain link fence.

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.

Referring now to FIG. 1 we see a front plan view of the invention 100 which is essentially a cushion held onto a vertical flat surface such as a wall or fence by D rings 2, 4, 6, 8. The front surface of the cushion 10 is approximately twenty four inches wide and eighteen inches high. FIG. 2 shows a side section view of the invention 100. A resilient cushion material 12 such as polyurethane foam is enclosed in a tough flexible fabric housing comprised of front wall 10, parallel rear wall 11 and surrounding side wall 22. A material such as urethane coated nylon or canvass is the preferred enclosure because it can withstand repeated hitting with a tennis racquet or bat, with minimal abrasion and tear. A minimum thickness of four inches has been found to be adequate. My experiments have shown that a thickness of five inches is ideal. The thickness of the device 100 prevents the user from hitting his or her knuckles against the fence or wall upon which the device 100 is mounted. The cushion is held to a vertical wall 16 by means of standard L shaped hooks 14, 18 or a nails or other standard attachment means engaging D rings 2, 8. Of course, a person may decide to attach the cushion 100 by the top D rings 2, 4 alone, however a more secure attachment requires all four D rings. The space between rear panel 11 and the wall 16 is actually quite small, and only shown larger here for clarity purposes. FIG. 3 is a partial perspective drawing showing clearly D ring 2 attached to fabric enclosure 22 via strap material 20. The D ring 2 is removably attached to a standard L shaped hook 14. FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of a person 24 hitting the present invention 100 with a tennis racquet 26. This view shows the proper way to hold the racquet during a swing. That is, the racquet head is parallel to the front face 10 of the invention 100 upon impact. During a practice session the user stands to one side of the device 100 and swings his or her racquet 26 into the device 100 as if swinging a forehand or backhand stroke. The device can be set at any height in order to represent high, medium or low balls. FIG. 6 shows a person 24 practicing to hit an overhead ball. This configuration can also help with practicing the serve. FIG. 5 shows a person 24 swinging the racquet 26 incorrectly onto the cushion 26 where the racquet head is not parallel to the front 10 of the cushion. If the racquet head is not vertical at impact, the tennis player will get immediate feedback. The first is audible. When the racquet heat hits the device 100 squarely, trapped air is expelled with a characteristic thud. When the racquet head does not strike the device squarely, a thin sound is produced. The second form of feedback is kinesthetic. When the device is struck with a racquet that is not perpendicular, the racquet grip will twist in the hand. When the racquet is struck with a vertical face, there is no twisting felt in the hand. As a tennis player increases racquet head speed, there is a tendency for the racquet face to tilt up. The device will provide immediate feedback so that the player can then adjust his or her grip to insure a vertical racquet face at impact. The tennis player can also judge the speed of his or her racquet at impact by the loudness of the sound. This will encourage the player to swing the racquet faster without the fear of losing any tennis balls. As the user improves his or her skill, they will be rewarded with a louder and louder thud. The device can also be used for practicing the service motion by being mounted high on a wall or fence as shown in FIG. 6. FIG. 7 shows that the cushion can also be used for batting practice for baseball. FIG. 8 shows the invention 100 attached to a chain link fence 60. The invention 100 is held to the fence 60 by loops of string 62 or other standard attachment materials to D rings 4 located on the corners of the cushion. This application is useful because many tennis courts are surrounded by chain link fences, so a tennis player can practice his or her swing using the invention 100 while in close proximity to a tennis court.

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.