Title:
FOOTBALL PLACE KICKING TRAINING DEVICE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A football place kicking training device includes an adjustable wrap, wherein the wrap is adapted to retain a football. An elastic cord is also included and has a first and a second end, the first end is adapted to be attached to the wrap, and the second end is adapted to be anchored to a support.



Inventors:
Hayes, Erik (Grand Rapids, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/456632
Publication Date:
01/17/2008
Filing Date:
07/11/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/426
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAMBERS, MICHAEL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PAPARELLA & ASSOCIATES, PC (GRAND RAPIDS, MI, US)
Claims:
The invention claimed is:

1. A football place kicking training device comprising: an adjustable wrap, the wrap adapted to be retain a football; an elastic cord having a first and a second end, the first end adapted to be attached to the wrap, the second end adapted to be attached to a support.

2. The place kicking device of claim 1, wherein: the wrap is adapted to be installed on an inflated football.

3. The place kicking device of claim 1, wherein: the wrap includes fasteners which adjustably and matingly engage, the fasteners adapted to securely retain the wrap around the football.

4. The place kicking device of claim 3, wherein: the fasteners matingly engage behind the wrap; whereby when the fasteners are matingly engaged, a window is formed by the engaged fasteners.

5. The place kicking device of claim 3, wherein: the wrap includes at least 2 pair of fasteners, each pair of fasteners affixed to opposite ends of the wrap, each pair of fasteners including a pair of bands.

6. The place kicking device of claim 5, wherein: each pair of bands includes a visual indicator disposed therebetween.

7. The place kicking device of claim 5, wherein: at least a part of each pair of bands are configured in a V-shaped configuration having a vertex, and an opening diverging therefrom, wherein the vertices of each pair of bands are disposed on the opposite ends of the wrap.

8. The place kicking device of claim 7, wherein: each pair of bands include a webbing material disposed within the opening.

9. The place kicking device of claim 1, wherein: the wrap includes a pocket.

10. The place kicking device of claim 1, wherein: the elastic cord includes a pair of elastic cords, each pair of elastic cords affixed to opposite ends of the wrap.

11. The place kicking device of claim 10, wherein: each cord affixed to opposite ends of the wrap includes a free end, each free end including a coupling, each coupling adapted to be removably anchored to a support.

12. The place kicking device of claim 11, wherein: the coupling is adapted to be removably attached to a portable weight.

13. A football place kicking training device comprising: a conformable adjustable wrap, the wrap adapted to be installed on an inflated football; the wrap including fasteners which adjustably and matingly engage, the fasteners adapted to securely retain the wrap around the football; a pair of elastic cords, each cord having a first and a second end, each first end adapted to be attached to the wrap, each second end adapted to be removably attached to a support.

14. The place kicking device of claim 13, wherein: when the fasteners are matingly engaged, a window is formed by the engaged fasteners.

15. The place kicking device of claim 14, wherein: the wrap includes at least 2 pair of fasteners, each pair of fasteners affixed to opposite ends of the wrap, each pair of fasteners including a pair of bands; each pair of bands configured in a V-shaped configuration having a vertex, and an opening diverging therefrom, wherein the vertices of each pair of bands are disposed on the opposite ends of the wrap.

16. The place kicking device of claim 15, wherein: each pair of bands includes a visual indicator disposed therebetween.

17. The place kicking device of claim 13, wherein: the wrap includes a pocket.

18. A football place kicking training device comprising: a conformable adjustable wrap, the wrap adapted to be installed on an inflated football; the wrap including at least 2 pair of fasteners, each pair of fasteners configured in a V-shaped configuration having a vertex, and an opening diverging therefrom, wherein the vertex of each pair of fasteners are disposed on opposite ends of the wrap, each pair of fasteners adapted to be adjustably and matingly engaged with the other pair of fasteners, the fasteners adapted to securely retain the wrap around the football; whereby when the at least 2 pair of fasteners are matingly engaged, a window is formed by the engaged fasteners; a pair of elastic cords, each cord having a first and a second end, each first end adapted to be attached to the wrap, each second end adapted to be removably anchored to a support.

19. The place kicking device of claim 18, wherein: each pair of fasteners include a visual indicator disposed within the V-shaped configuration.

20. The place kicking device of claim 18, wherein: the wrap includes a pocket.

21. The place kicking device of claim 19, wherein: the wrap includes a pocket.

22. The place kicking device of claim 18, wherein: each second end is adapted to be removably attached to a portable support.

23. The place kicking device of claim 19, wherein: each second end is adapted to be removably attached to a portable support.

24. A football place kicking training device comprising: a football, the football including a pair of first connectors, each of the pair of first connectors disposed on opposite sides of the football and recessed therein; a pair of elastic cords, each cord having a first and a second end, each first end adapted to be removably anchored to a support, each second end including a second connector, each second connector adapted to be matingly engaged with one of the first pair of connectors.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a training device generally, and more specifically to a football training device.

A place kicker, in order to practice his art, will typically practice repeatedly kicking footballs through a field goal. As is current practice, the kicker will have a large supply of footballs ready and at hand so that he can repeatedly “T” up the balls, kick the balls, and then view the results. However, though this works well for teams with a ready supply of numerous footballs, and aids to retrieve the footballs, it does not work well with kickers who neither have numerous balls, or people to fetch them. In this later instance, the kicker will typically “T” up the ball, kick the ball, and then view the results. However, the kicker will then have to fetch the ball before he can practice again. To diminish the time the kicker spends fetching the kicked balls, he will typically obtain as many balls as he can afford and/or carry to the site. However, unlike professional football teams that have a ready supply of footballs as well as the people to retrieve them, individual players, or teams without a large financial backing, will face the problem of spending more time fetching the balls than actually kicking them. There are a few prior art devices that attempt to rectify this situation. However, none appear to rectify it in the manner that is presented below.

The following patents are representative of past attempts at satisfying these needs and requirements. These patents are now discussed in greater detail to afford a better understanding of the deficiencies in the prior art.

U.S. Pat. No. U.S. Pat. No. 6,398,672 B1 to Olson, describes a portable training apparatus for the evaluation of the flight trajectory and the horizontal and vertical flight path of a kicked football, having a portable wheeled base, rigid uprights and movable trajectory indicator which can be set for optimal trajectory angle.

U.S. Pat. No. U.S. Pat. No. 4,477,077 to Ferrebee, describes a football place/field goal kicking device which holds a football in a position for kicking, with a holding pressure which simulates being held by a human holder. The devise includes a base, a holding device mounted on the base, and three arm elements pivotal about three axes.

U.S. Pat. No. U.S. Pat. No. 4,836,542 to Crawley, describes a football kicking practice device comprising a frame and net, wherein the frame can be made from plastic pipes and fittings.

As is evident from the foregoing discussion, past attempts at providing a convenient, accessible, and practical place kicking practicing device have heretofore been problematic. Therefore, a need still exist for a place kicking training device that is easy to set up and use, simple in construction, and yet one that can simulate game conditions while eliminating the need for someone to retrieve the ball after it has been kicked.

Accordingly, a need exists for novel systems and methods which have, among other advantages, easy set-up and use, while simultaneously simulating game conditions, as well as eliminate the need for retrieving the ball after it has been kicked. Therefore, a training device that solves the aforementioned disadvantages and having the aforementioned advantages is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

The aforementioned drawbacks and disadvantages of former training devices have been identified and a solution is set forth herein by the inventive football place kicking training device which includes a football place kicking training device comprising an adjustable wrap, wherein the wrap is adapted to retain a football. An elastic cord is also included and has a first and a second end. The first end is adapted to be attached to the wrap, and the second end is adapted to be attached to a support.

Another aspect of the present invention includes a football place kicking training device including a conformable adjustable wrap, wherein the wrap is adapted to be installed on an inflated football. The wrap also includes fasteners which adjustably and matingly engage, wherein the fasteners are adapted to securely retain the wrap around the football. A pair of elastic cords are also included, each cord having a first and a second end, wherein each first end is adapted to be attached to the wrap, and each second end is adapted to be removably attached to a support.

In another aspect of the present invention, a football place kicking training device includes a conformable adjustable wrap, the wrap adapted to be installed on an inflated football. The wrap also includes at least 2 pair of fasteners, wherein each pair of fasteners are configured in a V-shaped configuration having a vertex, and an opening diverging therefrom, wherein the vertex of each pair of fasteners are disposed on opposite ends of the wrap. Each pair of fasteners are adapted to be adjustably and matingly engaged with the other pair of fasteners and are adapted to securely retain the wrap around the football, whereby when the at least 2 pair of fasteners are matingly engaged, a window is formed by the engaged fasteners. A pair of elastic cords are also included, wherein each cord has a first and a second end, and each first end is adapted to be attached to the wrap, and each second end is adapted to be removably attached to a support.

And still in another aspect of the present invention, a football place kicking training device kit comprises a conformable adjustable wrap, wherein the wrap is adapted to be installed on an inflated football in order to retain the inflated football therein. The wrap includes fasteners which adjustably and matingly engage, the fasteners adapted to securely retain the wrap around the football. The kit also includes a pair of elastic cords, wherein each cord has a first and a second end, each first end adapted to be attached to the wrap, each second end adapted to be removably attached to a support. The kit further includes a football, a football place kicking stand, and a pair of supports.

And in still yet another aspect of the present invention, a football place kicking training device comprises a football, the football including a pair of first connectors, each of the pair of first connectors disposed on opposite sides of the football and recessed therein; and a pair of elastic cords, each cord having a first and a second end, each first end adapted to be removably attached to a support, each second end including a second connector, each second connector adapted to be matingly engaged with one of the first pair of connectors.

Other objects, advantages, and features of the invention will become apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. The above brief description sets forth rather broadly the more important features of the present disclosure so that the detailed description that follows may be better understood, and so that the present contributions to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional features of the disclosures that will be described hereinafter which will form the subject matter of the claims.

In this respect, before explaining the preferred embodiment of the disclosure in detail, it is to be understood that the disclosure is not limited in its application to the details of the construction and the arrangement set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The training device of the present disclosure is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for description and not limitation. Where specific dimensional and material specifications have been included or omitted from the specification or the claims, or both, it is to be understood that the same are not to be incorporated into the claims.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which this disclosure is based, may readily be used as a basis for designing other structures, methods, and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims are regarded as including such equivalent constructions as far as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Further, the purpose of the Abstract is to enable the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally, and especially the scientists, engineers, and practioners in the art who are not familiar with the patent or legal terms of phraseology, to learn quickly, from a cursory inspection, the nature of the technical disclosure of the application. Accordingly, the Abstract is intended to define neither the invention nor the application, which is only measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.

These and other objects, along with the various features, and structures that characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the training device of the present disclosure, its advantages, and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be made to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there are illustrated and described the preferred embodiments of the invention.

As such, while embodiments of the training device are herein illustrated and described, it is to be appreciated that various changes, rearrangements and modifications may be made therein, without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of the training device of the present invention, the training device being illustrated installed on a football, the football supported by a place kicking stand;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the training device of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a front view of the training device of FIG. 1, installed on the football;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the training device of FIG. 1, installed on the football;

FIG. 5 is a rear view of the training device of FIG. 1, installed on the football;

FIG. 6 is a front view of another embodiment of the training device;

FIG. 7 is a rear view of the training device of FIG. 6, installed on the football;

FIG. 8 is a front view of yet another embodiment of the training device;

FIG. 9 is a rear view of the training device of FIG. 8, installed on the football;

FIG. 10 is a front perspective view of the training device of FIG. 1, the training device being illustrated installed on a football, the football supported by a place kicking stand, wherein one cord is secured to a stake support and the other cord is secured to a portable weight support;

FIG. 11 is a front partial sectional view of yet another embodiment of the training device, illustrating a football including removable elastic cords; and

FIG. 12 is a side view of the football of the training device of FIG. 11.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The best mode for carrying out the invention is presented in terms of the preferred embodiment, wherein similar referenced characters designate corresponding features throughout the several figures of the drawings.

For purposes of description herein, the terms “upper”, “lower”, “right”, “left”, “rear”, “front”, “vertical”, “horizontal”, and derivatives thereof, shall relate to the invention as oriented in FIG. 1. However, it is to be understood that the invention may assume various alternative orientations, except where expressly specified to the contrary. It is also to be understood that the specific devices and processes illustrated in the attached drawings and described in the following specification are exemplary embodiments of the inventive concepts defined in the appended claims. Hence, specific dimensions and other physical characteristics relating to the embodiments disclosed herein are not to be considered as limiting, unless the claims expressly state otherwise.

Reference will now be made in detail to the present preferred embodiments of the invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, these same referenced numerals will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts. Like features between the various embodiments utilize similar numerical designations. Where appropriate, the various similar features have been further differentiated by an alphanumeric designation, wherein the corresponding alphabetic designator has been changed. Further, the dimensions illustrated in the drawings (if provided) are included for purposes of example only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present invention. Additionally, particular details in the drawings which are illustrated in hidden or dashed lines are to be considered as forming no part of the present invention.

As used herein, the term football is meant to be used and defined in its general and ordinary sense. That is to say an inflated oval ball which may be used in the game played by two teams of 11 players each, on a rectangular 100-yard-long field with goal lines and goal posts at either end, the object being to gain possession of the ball and advance it, by running or passing, across the opponent's goal line, or kick it through the air between the opponent's goal posts. Of course, this is not meant to be limiting in any manner and these footballs may be used for other sports and take on numerous configurations. As such, the device of the present invention is for use with footballs as they are commonly known in the United States, i.e. balls which are oval in configuration, and not balls used in other sports like soccer.

The present invention relates to football, and more appropriately to a place kicking apparatus. A place kicker, in order to practice his art, will typically practice repeatedly kicking footballs through a field goal. As is current practice, the kicker will have a large supply of footballs ready and at hand so that he can repeatedly “T” up the balls, kick the balls, and then view the results. However, though this works well for teams with a ready supply of numerous footballs, and aids to retrieve the footballs, it does not work well with kickers who neither have numerous balls, or people to fetch them. In this later instance, the kicker will typically “T” up the ball, kick the ball, and then view the results. However, the kicker will then have to fetch the ball before he can practice again. To diminish the time the kicker spends fetching the kicked balls, he will typically obtain as many balls as he can afford and/or carry to the site. However, unlike professional football teams that have a ready supply of footballs as well as the people to retrieve them, individual players, or teams without a large financial backing, will face the problem of spending more time fetching the balls than actually kicking them.

Accordingly, a need exists for novel systems and methods which have, among other advantages, easy set-up and use, while simultaneously simulating game conditions, as well as eliminate the need for retrieving the ball after it has been kicked. Therefore, a training device that solves the aforementioned disadvantages and having the aforementioned advantages is desired.

The disadvantages and drawbacks of the prior art are overcome through the training device of the present invention, wherein one preferred embodiment is disclosed in FIGS. 1-5. Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown football place kicking training device 2 comprising an adjustable wrap 10, wherein wrap 10 is adapted to retain a football 3. An elastic cord 30 is also included and has a first and a second end 32 and 33, respectively, wherein the first end 32 is adapted to be attached to wrap 10, and second end 33 is adapted to be anchored to a support 4.

Adjustable wrap 10 is a wrap, harness, sleeve or other cover that is designed to be wrapped or fit over an inflated football 3 such that when wrap 10 is disposed or wrapped around football 3, the wrap retains football 3 therein. In this manner, wrap 10 can be disposed on any typical or ordinary football 3 in its inflated state. As such, wrap 10 does not require a specially made football, or special preparation in order to use wrap 10. In one preferred embodiment wrap 10 is conformable—in that wrap 10 may conform to the size and shape of the particular football 3 being used, and adjustable—in that that wrap 10 may be used on numerous sizes of footballs 3, or may be positioned on football 3 in any number of locations on the oval, and therefore non uniform football 3.

Adjustability can be accomplished in numerous manners known in the art. In one preferred embodiment, wrap 10 is made adjustable by fasteners 12 and 13. For example, male fasteners 12 and female fasteners 13. One preferred embodiment uses a hook-and-loop type fastening system, with a hook portion 12 and a loop portion 13 which are to be matingly engaged as illustrated by FIGS. 4 and 5. This arrangement is also adjustable in that the fit of wrap 10 can be adjusted on football 3 by adjusting the overlapped or connected portion of fasteners 12 and 13 (FIG. 5). Although various fasteners may be applied directly to opposite ends 14 and 14′ of wrap 10, in the embodiment illustrated fasteners 12 and 13 are attached, adhered or otherwise affixed to a pair of straps or bands 16, 17 and 16′, 17′ disposed on opposite ends 14 and 14′, respectively, of wrap 10, wherein fasteners 12 are disposed on the free ends 18 of bands 16 and 17, and fasteners 13 are disposed on the free ends 18 of bands 16′ and 17′. As described above, this facilities, as is known in the art, adjustable and mating engagement of fasteners 12 and 13 in order to retain football 3 within the confines of wrap 10. Of course, bands 16, 17, 16′, and 17′ may also be elastic to facilitate this adjustability even further. Although the specific number, shape and size of fasteners 12 and 13, bands 16, 17, 16′, and 17′, and ends 14 and 14′ may vary according to specific requirements, in one embodiment at least a part of each pair of bands 16, 17, 16′ and 17′ are configured in a V-shape configuration having a vertex 20, and an opening 21 diverging therefrom, wherein the vertices 20 are disposed on opposite ends 14 and 14′ of wrap 10.

As best illustrated in FIG. 5, in one preferred embodiment, when each pair of bands 16, 17 and 16′, 17′ are fastened, matingly engaged, or otherwise secured to one another, a window 22 is formed by the interior outline of bands 16, 17, 16′, and 17′. Window 22 may be used, for example, to indicate the optimum kicking spot or sweet-spot. Further, by adjusting wrap 10 either up or down football 3, this sweet-spot can be adjusted to meet the specific requirements of the kicker in order to maximize the kicker's performance.

As best illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, another embodiment of the football training device 2A is illustrated, wherein disposed between bands 16, 17 and 16′, 17′, in openings 21, are visual indicators 24. For example, one embodiment utilizes a highly visible colored mesh or webbing material. In this manner, when wrap 10 is disposed on football 3 (FIG. 7), the now visually enhanced window 22 more readily indicates the optimum kicking spot or sweet-spot.

As best illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9, another embodiment of the football training device 2B is illustrated wherein bands 16, 17 and 16′, 17′ initially form a V-shape as described above. However, free-ends 18 are extended outwardly from the V-shape, and extend generally parallel to one another. This has the desired effect of making window 22A a different shape as compared to window 22. Of course this is merely one example and window 22 or 22A, via bands 16, 17 and 16′, 17′, can be fabricated into numerous shapes and sizes as the particular requirements dictate. Further, these windows may also include visual indicators 24 disposed between bands 16, 17 and 16′, 17′, if so desired.

Returning to FIG. 2, in yet another embodiment a pocket 26 for storing items and the like is included within wrap 10 and includes a closure 27. Closure 27 can be for example, a zipper or other closure which can act to open and close-off pocket 26.

The specific configurations and features of wrap 10 may vary according to specific requirements. In one preferred embodiment, wrap 10 is generally rectangular in shape, including angled ends 14 and 14′, and is fabricated in a one-piece configuration from a generally tough fabric material, for example, cotton or nylon. However, the shape of wrap 10 may vary according to specific requirements, and need not be rectangular in configuration. Further, although one preferred embodiment of wrap 10 is fabricated from cotton or nylon utilizing sewing techniques, other materials and fabrication techniques may be used. In addition, although this particular embodiment of wrap 10 is fabricated into a one-piece configuration, multiple pieces can be utilized.

Training device 2 also includes an elastic cord 30 having first and second ends 32 and 33, respectively, wherein first end 32 is adapted to be attached to wrap 10, and second end 33 is adapted to be anchored to a support 4. Although a single elastic cord 30 may be used, it is preferable to have multiple cords 30, and in one preferred embodiment, a pair of elastic cords 30 and 30′ are used. In this embodiment, ends 32 and 32′ of cords 30 and 30′, respectively, are attached, for example by stitching, to ends 14 and 14′, respectively, of wrap 10. Of course, cords 30 and 30′ may be attached in numerous manners and in other locations on wrap 10. Cords 30 and 30′ each include free ends or second ends 33 and 33′, respectively, which include couplings 36 which are adapted to be attached, anchored, or otherwise affixed to a support 4 (FIG. 10). In one embodiment, couplings 36 are made to be releasably attached to support 4 via fasteners 37. For example only, a hook and loop fastening system may be utilized to form couplings 36 and to allow ends 33 and 33′ to be secured to support 4. Of course, numerous other couplings known in the art may also be used.

Support 4 may include any anchored point, support, or relatively fixed source. As best illustrated in FIG. 10, support 4 may include, for example, a stake 4 or a portable weight 4′, whereby ends 33 and 33′ (via couplings 36) may be attached in order to provide a relatively fixed or stationary support point.

The specific configurations and features of elastic cord 30 may vary according to specific requirements. Although it is possible to utilize a non-elastic cord 30, an elastic cord is preferably used so that cord 30 can stretch and provide a resiliency to return football 3 to the kicker after it has been kicked, as described in more detail below. In the preferred embodiment, elastic cord 30 is generally rectangular in shape and is fabricated in a one-piece configuration from an elastic material such as nylon. However, the shape of elastic cord 30 may vary according to specific requirements, and need not be rectangular in configuration. For example, round, or other shaped cord may also be utilized. Further, although one preferred embodiment of elastic cord 30 is fabricated from nylon, other materials may be used. In addition, although this particular embodiment of elastic cord 30 is fabricated into a one-piece configuration, multiple pieces can be utilized, and assembled by various means such that are known in the art.

While the preferred embodiments have been described, the specific characteristics of training device 2 may vary according to specific requirements. Although these preferred embodiment utilize a one piece construction and are fabricated from durable fabrics, other constructions and materials may also be used. Of course, the particular geometries of certain features, as well as the numbers of particular features may also be changed to suit particular needs and requirements.

By fabricating training device 2 from durable fabrics utilizing sewing operations, a very economical training device has been developed which is conformable, simple in configuration and appearance, and yet very strong. In addition, training device 2 may be further enhanced by utilizing various finishing techniques, for example various colorants, coatings, logos, and the like to provide a durable yet aesthetic appearance.

In use then, training device 2 is disposed, wrapped, or otherwise attached to an inflated football 3 (FIG. 10). Typically this is accomplished by putting the inside of front end 26 over the front surface 7 of football 3, wrapping ends 14 and 14′ around football 3, towards the rear surface 8 (FIG. 5) of football 3, and mateably securing fasteners 12 and 13 to one another thereby conformably securing training device 2 to football 3. In the preferred embodiment, a pair of couplings 36, on ends 33 and 33′ are attached to a pair of supports 4, for example a pair of stakes 4, a pair of weights 4′ or other preferably portable support 4, and football 3 is then disposed or otherwise positioned on a place kicking holder or “T” 6. The kicker then kicks football 3 as he or she would normally do. However, as the ball is launched, instead of flying off in an uninterrupted manner, the ball will proceed normally until cords 30 and 30′ start to restrict the movement of football 3. Elastic cords 30 and 30′ will then fully expand, according to the force exerted on football 3, and then restrict, thereby returning football 3 at or near the initial starting position. In this manner, a football kicker can practice kicking a football, analyze the kick (i.e. the force, motion, direction, and the like), without having to take the time and effort to retrieve the kicked the ball. Therefore, a single person can practice kicking, repeatedly, without having the need for multiple balls or retrieving the kicked balls.

And still in another aspect of the present invention, FIG. 10 illustrates a football place kicking training device kit which comprises a conformable adjustable wrap 10, wherein wrap 10 is adapted to be installed on inflated football 3 in order to retain inflated football 3 therein. Wrap 10 also includes fasteners 12 and 13, which adjustably and matingly engage, the fasteners adapted to securely retain wrap 10 around football 3 as described above. The kit also includes a pair of elastic cords 30 and 30′, wherein each cord 30 and 30′ has a first and a second end 32, 33 and 32′, 33′, respectively, wherein each first end 32 and 32′ is adapted to be attached to wrap 10, and each second end 33 and 33′ is adapted to be removably anchored, via a coupling 36, to a support 4. The kit further includes a football 3; a football place kicking stand 6; and a pair of supports 4 that can include, for example, either a pair of stakes 4 or a pair of portable weights 4′. As such, the user of the kit has everything needed to practice kicking using training device 2.

An alternative embodiment is illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12 wherein instead of football 3 requiring a wrap 10 to secure football 3 to elastic cords 30 and 30′, in one embodiment a pair of elastic cords 30C and 30′C each include ends 32C and 32′C, and free (second) ends 33C and 33′C, respectively. In this embodiment, each end 32C and 32′C includes a second connector 51 that releasably and mateably engages a a pair of first connectors 51 recessed and disposed within each side 9 of football 3, and disposed relatively equidistant along the longitudinally axis (FIG. 12). In this manner, since connectors 50 do not protrude from or interfere with the outside surface of football 3, football 3 can be used as a normal football when cords 30C and 30′C are removed therefrom. For example, football 3 can be thrown or passed to another person as normal. However, when cords 30C and 30′C and more appropriately second connectors 51 are engaged with mating first connectors 50, training device 2C can be used as a place kicking training device as described above with respect to embodiment 2, 2A, and 2B. Connectors 50 and 51 may be any connectors that are capable of releasably and mateably engaging with one another, and are known in the art.

Advantageously, the training device of the present invention is easy to set-up and use, while simultaneously being able to simulate actual game conditions, as well as eliminate the need for retrieving the ball after it has been kicked. It is efficiently fabricated while also being engineered to be durable. Consequently, the embodiments of the preferred invention disclosed herein reveal a training device which is novel over existing designs.

The solutions offered by the invention disclosed herein have thus been attained in an economical, practical, and facile manner. To whit, a novel training device which is cost effective, easily installed, strong, and aesthetically pleasing has been invented. While preferred embodiments and example configurations of the inventions have been herein illustrated, shown, and described, it is to be appreciated that various changes, rearrangements, and modifications may be made therein, without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the claims. It is intended that the specific embodiments and configurations disclosed herein are illustrative of the preferred and best modes for practicing the invention, and should not be interpreted as limitations on the scope of the invention as defined by the claims, and it is to appreciated that various changes, rearrangements, and modifications may be made therein, without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the claims.