Title:
Basketbal training aid
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A basketball training aid designed to teach and keep the user's hand in the proper position to correctly shoot and release a basketball. The basketball training aid is of a material that adapts to individual fit, receives a user's fingers comfortably and worn at the base of the fingers. The design encourages proper finger separation, spacing of a ball off the palm and continual development of correct habits throughout its wear.



Inventors:
Ffrench, Robert A. (New Minas, CA)
Application Number:
11/436583
Publication Date:
11/22/2007
Filing Date:
05/19/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20020177490Radio frequency identification system for identifying and locating golf balls in driving ranges and golf coursesNovember, 2002Yong et al.
20080248897NONCONTACT PRINTING ON SUBSURFACE LAYERS OF TRANSLUCENT COVER GOLF BALLSOctober, 2008Morgan et al.
20020160850Stance helperOctober, 2002Halonen
20090062026Ball returning tent netMarch, 2009Cho
20040162162High velocity golf ballAugust, 2004Simonutti et al.
20080261715GOLF CLUB WITH ADJUSTABLE CENTER OF GRAVITY HEADOctober, 2008Carter
20050096147Practice deviceMay, 2005Schmidt
20090253529TRAINING EQUIPMENT FOR GOLF PLAYERSOctober, 2009Giusti
20080020867GOLFER'S IMPACT PROPERTIES DURING A GOLF SWINGJanuary, 2008Manwaring
20090312125Batting grip and training systemsDecember, 2009Kearns
20060148597Practice, exercise, and strengthening device for batting and similar swinging motionsJuly, 2006Pope et al.



Primary Examiner:
CHAMBERS, MICHAEL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Robert Ffrench (New Minas, NS, CA)
Claims:
1. A device for improving the ability of the wearer to properly put their hand in a position to shoot a basketball. The wearing of the shooting aid on the dominant hand, thereby encouraging the spread of the fingers will after a period of time cause the dominant hand to naturally assume the correct position with the shooting aid removed.

2. The method set forth in claim 1, wherein said method includes the steps of: Removing the training aid from the dominant hand and then handling the basketball with the hand

3. The method set forth in claim 1; wherein the step of providing, a training aid which operatively adapts to prevent the fingers from having incorrect contact with a basketball.

4. The method set forth in claim 1, wherein the step of handling the basketball with the dominant hand involves gripping the basketball with the hand held in correct position by the shooting aid.

5. The method set forth in claim 1, wherein the step of handling a basketball with the adorned hand involves shooting a basketball and dribbling a basketball with the adorned hand.

6. A device for improving the ability of a person to shoot a basketball, said method comprising of: Providing at least 1 training aid, which is operatively adapted to inhibit the incorrect positioning of the hand wearing the shooting aid and to prevent improper handling of the basketball. Wearing the shooting aid on the hand, thereby forming the correct spread of the hand, handling a basketball with the adorned hand for a period of time sufficient to cause an improvement in the ability of the wearer to concentrate on handling the basketball.

7. A device for improving the ability of the wearer to handle a basketball, said apparatus comprising: A training aid with 4 distinct digit entries; enhancing the ability of the hand wearing, said training aid to be placed in a correct alignment developing consistent placement Inhibiting the hand wearing the aid from placing the palm on the surface of the ball When the ball is handled by the hand wearing said shooting aid for a long enough period of time, the person will develop at a sufficiently heightened sense of touch in the hand wearing the aid and develop sufficiently greater concentration so that the ability of the person to handle a basketball with the aid removed is improved. Once placed upon the dominant hand the shooting aid can remain on the wearer for full duration of training or practice.

8. The training aid as set forth in claim 7, wherein the size and shape of the apparatus, is of such that the basketball will be unable to touch the top of the palm of the hand/base of the fingers

9. The device set forth in claim 7 wherein the training aid is of sufficient rigidity and thickness to prevent the fingers of the hand wearing the training aid from relaxing into a non-extended position.

10. The apparatus set forth in claim 7 can be utilized, in all aspect of training from individual to live practice play.

11. The apparatus set forth in claim 7, wherein consists of 1 said training aid.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention is related to athletic equipment, more particularly to a basketball training aid for improving a person's ability to place their hand in the correct shooting position and to grip a ball, and even more particularly, to one or a pair of training aids, for improving a person's ability to shoot, dribble and pass a basketball.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Since the game of basketball was invented, by Dr. James Naismith, the essential element amongst the refining of rules limiting how the ball is advanced, size of the court, the physical contact allowed etc., one constant has remained, that being the desire to consistently be able to shoot a ball into its goal/basket. Success whether in a game or practice is measured by the amount of times the ball passes through and into the net. While the size of the participants may vary widely the same measurement, is used by all as it equates to winning or losing or satisfying a need to learn the skill.

The evolution of shooting, from what was termed a ‘set shot’, dominant up until the 1940's replaced by the now recognizable ‘jump shot’ as the most efficient method in use has still maintained a degree a difficulty which sees relatively low success rates as acceptable percentages. Coaches have further refined their teaching methods all in an attempt to elevate the percentages thus increasing the participant success rate. As a competitive endeavour by its very nature, who, wins and loses is easily determined. From amateurs to professionals many have sought out methods to learn how to consistently release a basketball giving them the greatest opportunity for success.

The ability to maintain the dominant hand in its widest spread position has long been considered an essential to gaining the skills for success. It is however one the hardest skills to teach and even harder to learn as the hand by its very nature relaxes into a less efficient position. With shooting dependant on control of the ball and trying to maintain straight lines to the basket there is now just as there was when the game was invented the need for a training device that allows the wearer an opportunity to train their hand to react in the same fashion upon gripping a ball.

With the learning of appropriate skill will come increased confidence and the opportunity for greater success. Therefore there is a need for a way to improve on a novice participant's efforts as well as the elite athlete in further refining not only the concentration essential for the skill as well as a way to improve their ability to grip and otherwise handle the basketball with greater confidence and authority.

A variety of devices have been previously developed in the hopes of attempting to circumvent the issues posed by poor hand positioning. Examples of these include U.S. Pat. No. 4,738,447 issued Apr. 19, 1988 to Brown. In this reference a training glove is disclosed which has a glove body having cut finger portions as well an arch plate to maintain the players palm and ball in a spaced relationship. It also provides an auxiliary support member with this arrangement. The device does not provide a body which has got the expressed, substantial width dimension and accordingly it would appear that it does not space the ball from the palm of the user or any real degree such that the palm would be arched and the fingers spread apart for the maximum contact of the fingertips on the ball.

In addition this arrangement by virtue of the fact that it incorporates a glove would appear to be somewhat of a hindrance with respect to maximum mobility of the fingers and the remainder of the hand.

Strug, in the U.S. Pat. No. 5,833,233 issued Nov. 10, 1998 provides a training device which, faces the palm of a basketball player's hand from the basketball in such that only the fingertips contact the surface of the law. The device is releasably engageable with the hand of the user and has a generally trapezoidal cross-section. The interior surface of the device is contoured to generally correspond to the arcuate shape of the basketball. The result of using the structure is the training of a player to more accurately shot the ball. Once again this device has limitations in that it does not as is claimed assist the wearer in positioning the hand correctly but only provides a means to achieve a degree of separation of the ball in the palm of the hand. It also is unable to be worn in competive situations do to the potential of injury to opponent

U.S. Pat. No. 5,236,190 issued to Mass on Aug. 17, 1993 provides a basketball grip training device, which attaches to the hand by a user by a releasable strap. This arrangement provides an audible arm system to indicate to the user when proper finger position is achieved. The apparatus appears to only provide a space relationship with the ball in a very local area towards the center portion of the palm and accordingly would not facilitate proper arching of the palm or fingertip contact only. Like many other devices utilizing straps, belts or other methods, which forcibly limit movement, this apparatus appears cumbersome and could provide a measure of danger if the wearer were not to utilize it in proper fashion. It also can-not be incorporated into any training experience the wearer wishes to be involved in other than that which it designed for.

In reviewing all that has been previously proposed, there appears to be a need for a significantly improved product which more effectively positions the hand of the user in the most advantageous position to consistently enable repeatable motion which will result in a more accurate shooting form and greater success in developing the skill.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention satisfies the prior stated needs by providing an apparatus and method for improving the ability of a person to correctly handle/shoot a basketball by providing at least one shooting aid which when worn according to the principles of the present invention, makes it easier for the person to gain and maintain comfortably the widest finger separation possible, thus increasing their hand spread coverage on the ball. The present invention is predicated at least upon the discovery that each hand when wearing the training aid according to the principles of the present invention will develop a heightened sense of touch or feeling if the basketball is handled for a sufficient period of time while wearing the shooting aid. This period of time may be different for each individual, but in any case, it can be determined by the use of simple trial and error experimentation. Once the wearer has developed the appropriate positioning habits the shooting aid may be removed, the basketball will feel easier to grip or otherwise handle with the hand that had been wearing the device.

It has also been found that by making it easier to handle a basketball, the present invention can help train the wearer of the training aid to focus more on other aspects of the sport, thereby improving the wearers level of concentration. The ability of the present invention to impart a heightened sense of touch to the wearer and/or help improve the wearer's powers of concentration enables the wearer to handle the basketball with more confidence and authority.

In one aspect of the present invention, a method is provided which includes the steps of: providing at least one shooting aid which is operatively adapted to maximize the the ability of the hand that is wearing a shooting aid to feel basketball meeting handled; wearing the training aid on the hand; and handling the basketball with the of the dominant hand for a long enough period of time to cause the game to develop a heightened sense of touch and thereby improve the ability of the hand with the training aid to maintain the correct position. The training aid may be left on or removed prior to live play.

A further attendant feature of the present invention is realized by manufacturing the article out of lightweight EVA foam. This has been found to be effective since in addition to not adding any significant weight or straining to the hand of the wearer it shows a durability of lifespan providing significant usage value. Another aspect of the present invention, a method is provided which includes the steps of: providing a training aid which provides enough rigidity yet adapted to make it easier and provide assistance to the hand wearing the training aid to shooting or to handle a basketball; wearing the training aid on the hand and handling the basketball with the adorned hand for sufficient length of time to cause in improvement in the ability of the person to concentrate or focus on maintaining the same desire position when the aid is removed.

In either of the above methods of the present invention, the step of handling the basketball with the wearing of the training aid can involve gripping the object correctly with the adorned hand.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a plain view of a hand (left) wearing the device from side and slightly above

FIG. 2 is a side view representation showing the device in use position

FIG. 3 is a view of the device from the three observable angles

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawings and specifically FIG. 3 the invention is a basketball training aid that will not interfere with the use of the shooting hand beyond it's predetermined task. It's one piece, design and lightweight material enables easy of addition and removal from the hand. Worn at the base of the fingers FIG. 1, the device is constructed of pre-formed EVA foam and is a finger spacer designed to put the wearers' hand in the most fundamentally proper position to shoot a basketball thus increasing the success rate, while also having enough of an inside edge which forces the wearer to have keep the ball off the palm of the hand FIG. 2. Thus it can be worn during live competition and play.

Rectangular in shape with rounded corners-2, another distinct characteristic of the invention will be the slightly curved inside edge (palm-side)-4. The curvature will enable the invention to conform to the shape of the wearers' hand in a natural fashion. The invention has four holes in descending size order that are also slightly curved in their angle of alignment-6.

The device will be adorned imprinted with company name/logo or other information on it's top and bottom edges increasing its' aesthetic appeal, but not impacting its it's intended use.