Title:
METHOD FOR TEACHING BASKETBALL SHOOTING
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Methods are provided for increasing shots-made frequency by educating a player's eye and memory through repetitions at one or more specified distance locations from a basketball hoop. In one aspect, a shooter must make a first plurality of shots at a first location at a threshold success frequency in order to advance to a second location. Thresholds may be selected from previous success or other data input. Divergent thresholds or shot set total numbers may be provided for different shot locations. In one aspect, shooting locations are defined by a plurality of spaced markings applied to a court surface and are arrayed in radial lines. In one aspect, verification is provided with regard to meeting a shooting threshold.



Inventors:
Montie, Thomas O. (North Tonawanda, NY, US)
Wittrock, Karen (Avon Lake, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/873739
Publication Date:
04/17/2008
Filing Date:
10/17/2007
Assignee:
Montie, Thomas O. (North Tonawanda, NY, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/422
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dept. GEN (Mentor, OH, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A method for improving basketball shooting success frequency comprising: affixing a plurality of spaced markers to a basketball court playing surface within court boundaries, the affixed markers not interfering with use of the basketball court for basketball game play; beginning a practice session; associating a first shots-made frequency threshold with a first marker of the marker plurality; positioning a shooter on the basketball floor at the first marker; the shooter making a first plurality of attempts to shoot a basketball ball into a basketball court hoop from the first marker; recording data indicative of the shooter and a first marker success frequency of shots made through the hoop relative to shots missed of the first marker attempt plurality into a result data contained in a data record; and if the first marker success frequency is lower than the first marker threshold, ending the practice session; or if the first marker success frequency is not lower than the first marker threshold, continuing the practice session by: selecting a second marker of the marker plurality in response to result data in the data record, the second marker more distant from the hoop than the first marker; associating a second shots-made frequency threshold with the second marker, the second threshold frequency lower than the first threshold frequency; repositioning the shooter on the basketball floor at the second marker; the shooter making a second plurality of attempts to shoot the ball into the hoop from the second marker; recording data indicative of a second marker success frequency of shots made through the hoop relative to shots missed of the second marker attempt plurality into the data record result data; and ending the practice session.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the first threshold frequency is one hundred percent (100%), comprising selecting the second threshold frequency in response to the result data.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein if the first marker success frequency is not lower than the first marker threshold, continuing the practice session comprises: selecting a group of primary markers of the marker plurality and associated the first marker success frequency with each of the primary group markers; iteratively selecting each of the primary group markers and performing the steps of positioning the shooter at the each marker, the shooter making a plurality of attempts each to shoot the ball into the hoop from the each marker, recording data indicative of the each marker success frequency into the result data; and if any of the each marker success frequencies are lower than the first marker threshold, ending the practice session.

4. The method of claim 3 wherein iteratively selecting each of the primary group markers comprises selecting each of the primary group markers in a progression from a marker spaced nearer to the hoop to a marker spaced farther from the hoop.

5. The method of claim 4, further comprising selecting, in response to the result data, at least of the group consisting of: a one of the marker plurality as a subsequent first marker for a subsequent practice session; a subsequent first shots-made frequency threshold for association with the subsequent first marker; a one of the marker plurality as a subsequent second marker for the subsequent practice session; and a subsequent second shots-made frequency threshold for association with the subsequent second marker.

6. The method of claim 5, further comprising a verification entity verifying that the first marker success frequency is not lower than the first marker threshold and the second marker success frequency is not lower than the second marker threshold; wherein the selecting of at least one of the subsequent first marker, the subsequent first shots-made frequency threshold, the subsequent second marker or the subsequent second shots-made frequency threshold is conditional upon said verifying.

7. The method of claim 6 wherein verifying comprises the verifying entity witnessing the shooter making a first verification plurality of attempts to shoot a basketball ball into a basketball court hoop from the first marker at a frequency not lower than the first marker threshold, a total of the first verification plurality of attempts lower than a total of the first plurality of attempts.

8. The method of claim 7 wherein recording the data indicative of the shooter and the first marker success frequency and the second marker success frequency comprises entering said data into a computer processing system, the computer processing system selecting the at least one of the subsequent first marker, the subsequent first shots-made frequency threshold, the subsequent second marker or the subsequent second shots-made frequency threshold in response to the result data.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein affixing the plurality of spaced markers comprises one of the group consisting of: painting the markers onto the court playing surface; attaching the markers to the court playing surface with an adhesive means; and applying the markers to the court playing surface and covering the markers and the court playing surface with a protective transparent coating.

10. The method of claim 9, further comprising: configuring each of the markers to become visibly apparent to the shooter only upon an activating input to said each marker; providing said activating input to the first and second markers during the practice session; and removing the activating input after the ending of the practice session.

11. The method of claim 10, wherein affixing the plurality of spaced markers comprises arraying the markers spaced about one foot (1 ft.)/three-tenths meters (0.3 meters) from each other in a plurality of radial lines, each of the radial lines defined from a first center point defined on the basketball playing surface directly beneath a center of the basketball hoop, the plurality of radial lines comprising: a center foul line defined from the first center point and including a second point located at about the center of a basketball court foul line; a left 30° angle line oriented at a 30° angle left of the center foul line; a right 30° angle line oriented at a 30° angle right of the center foul line; a left 60° angle line oriented at a 60° angle left of the center foul line; a right 60° angle line oriented at a 60° angle right of the center foul line; a left 90° angle line oriented at a 90° angle left of the center foul line; and a right 90° angle line oriented at a 90° angle right of the center foul line.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a divisional of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/397,216, filed Apr. 4, 2006, which claims priority of U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/668,009, filed Apr. 4, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to the field of basketball and more specifically to a method for teaching and practicing basketball shooting.

The nexus of basketball is to get the basketball through the basketball hoop. Basketball players are divided into two competing teams and the team with the highest score, i.e. most baskets made, is the winner. Accordingly, it is desired to improve the frequency of successful shots made relative to attempts made by each shooter on a team in order to increase the overall team score and win the game.

Thus, it is common to instruct shooters to improve their shots-made frequency. This is commonly accomplished by educating a player's eye and memory through multiple shooting repetitions in practice sessions, wherein a shooter positions him or herself at a given distance of interest from the hoop and practices multiple repetitions at that distance. However, such a system or method does not fully develop shooting ability at other distances or positions on the floor. Moreover, by focusing on a problem or otherwise important fixed location or distance, a low shots-made frequency may result in unproductive practice time, or even the development of bad habits that translate to lower shots-made frequencies at other locations on the basketball court.

Other methods and systems may incorporate shooting aid equipment that attach to the basketball hoop, to the arm or leg of the shooter, or that must be positioned on the basketball playing surface. Such aids must be positioned anew at every practice session. Disadvantages include the requirement of additional equipment to be installed before and removed after every practice session. Typically, the equipment requires modification dependent on the user's size.

Prior methods of teaching basketball shooting are also deficient in that they do not consistently position the shooter on the basketball court at specified distances relative to the hoop. The prior methods also do not use a systematic sequence of steps from one predetermined position to the next.

What is needed is an improved system and method for improving basketball shooting that systematically improves shots-made frequency at specified, readily identifiable and repeatable locations on the basketball court.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Methods and systems are provided for improving the frequency of successful shots made relative to attempts made. In one aspect, the shots-made frequency is increased by educating a player's eye and memory through repetitions at one or more specified close distance locations from the basketball hoop, and then building on that information by progressively increasing the distance from the hoop through sequential steps to additional sets of repetitions taken at greater distances from the hoop. One object is to provide a better basketball shooting practice method that results in improved free throw, bank shot and jump shot shooting accuracy. Another object is to provide a better basketball shooting practice method that results in a basketball shooter having much improved confidence in his shooting ability from any point on the basketball court during the game. Another object is to provide a practice apparatus that requires only a one-time installation, to provide a practice method that, once the apparatus has been installed on the playing surface, requires only a basketball player, a basketball hoop and a basketball. Yet another object is to provide a practice method that is usable by all ages. Still yet another object is to provide a better basketball shooting practice method that may be standard for all basketball players and all basketball teams.

In one aspect, there is disclosed a method for improving basketball shooting success frequency comprising affixing a spaced plurality of markers to a basketball court playing surface within court boundaries, the affixed markers not interfering with use of the basketball court for basketball game play. In a practice session, a first shots-made frequency threshold is associated with a first marker. The method further comprises positioning a shooter at the first marker, the shooter making a first plurality of attempts to shoot a basketball ball into a basketball court hoop from the first marker; recording data indicative of the shooter and a first marker success frequency into a result data contained in a data record. Further, if the first marker success frequency is lower than the first marker threshold, then the practice session ending, else selecting a second marker more distant from the hoop than the first marker, associating a lower second shots-made frequency threshold with the second marker, the shooter making a second plurality of attempts from the second marker, recording data indicative of a second marker success frequency, and ending the practice session.

In another aspect, the first threshold frequency is one hundred percent (100%) and the second threshold frequency is selected in response to result data. In one aspect, the plurality of spaced markers are affixed by arraying the markers spaced about one foot (1 ft.)/three-tenths meters (0.3 meters) from each other in a plurality of radial lines defined from a first center point beneath a center of the basketball hoop. The radial lines comprise a center foul line defined from the first center point and including a second point located at about the center of a basketball court foul line; a left 30° angle line oriented at a 30° angle left of the center foul line; a right 30° angle line oriented at a 30° angle right of the center foul line; a left 60° angle line oriented at a 60° angle left of the center foul line; a right 60° angle line oriented at a 60° angle right of the center foul line; a left 90° angle line oriented at a 90° angle left of the center foul line; and a right 90° angle line oriented at a 90° angle right of the center foul line.

In one method, if the first marker success frequency is not lower than the first marker threshold, the practice session continues by selecting a group of primary markers of the marker plurality and associating the first marker success frequency with each of the primary group markers; iteratively selecting each of the primary group markers and positioning the shooter at each marker, the shooter making a plurality of attempts to shoot the ball into the hoop from each marker, recording data indicative of each marker's success frequency into the result data, and, if any marker success frequency is lower than the first marker threshold, ending the practice session. In one method, iteratively selecting each marker comprises selecting in a progression from a marker spaced nearer to the hoop to a marker spaced farther from the hoop.

In one method, a subsequent first marker, subsequent first shots-made frequency threshold, subsequent second marker and/or a subsequent second shots-made frequency threshold is selected for a subsequent practice session in response to result data. In another method, a verification entity verifies that a first marker success frequency and/or a second marker success frequency are not lower than their respective threshold and, further, the above subsequent practice session selections are dependent upon said verifying. In one method, verifying comprises a verifying entity witnessing a shooter making a verification plurality of attempts not lower than a threshold, the total verification attempts lower than a total of the first plurality of attempts.

In one method, recording the data indicative of the shooter and success frequency comprises entering data into a computer processing system, the computer processing system selecting the subsequent first marker, the subsequent first shots-made frequency threshold, the subsequent second marker or the subsequent second shots-made frequency threshold in response to the result data. In another method, affixing the markers comprises painting the markers onto a court playing surface, attaching the markers to the court playing surface with an adhesive means, and/or applying markers to the court playing surface and covering the markers and the court playing surface with a protective transparent coating. And in another method, markers are configured to become visibly apparent to a shooter only upon an activating input to said each marker, including providing the activating input to markers during a practice session and removing the activating input after the ending of a practice session.

In another aspect, there is disclosed a method for teaching basketball shooting comprising the sequential steps of: positioning of the player at the first marking, attempting to shoot the basketball into the basketball hoop, recording the number of attempts that did not go through the hoop, recording the number of attempts that did go through the hoop, positioning of the player at the second marking, and repeating the sequence through the remainder of the markings.

In another aspect, there is disclosed an apparatus and system for improving basketball shooting success frequency comprising a plurality of markings applied to a basketball playing surface, the plurality of markings spaced from each other in at least one radial line, the radial line defined from a first center point through a second point, the center point defined on the basketball playing surface directly beneath a center of a basketball hoop, and at least one scoring device to record at least one of missed shot attempt data and successful shot attempt data for each of the plurality of markings.

In one aspect, a system includes at least one advancement rule, the advancement rule comprising a requirement that a shooter positioning at a first location on a basketball floor make a first plurality of attempts to shoot the ball into the basket at a threshold success frequency, the rule further comprising a requirement to stop shooting if the shooter fails to meet the threshold success frequency, or the shooter repositions at a second location on a basketball floor if the shooter meets the threshold success frequency.

In one aspect, a means for selecting the threshold success frequency selects in response from a data input. In another aspect, the means for selecting the threshold success frequency is configured to increase an initial level threshold for the first location to a higher secondary threshold for subsequent shot attempt sets at the first location in response to a previous shot attempt set at the first location having a shots-made frequency greater than or equal to the initial level threshold. In one aspect, divergent shot-made thresholds or shot set total numbers for each of the first and second marking shot locations are provided.

In one aspect, the plurality of markings are arrayed in a plurality of radial lines, each of the radial lines defined from a first center point defined on the basketball playing surface directly beneath a center of a basketball hoop. In another aspect, the plurality of radial lines comprises a center foul line; left and right 30° angle lines each oriented 30° from the foul line; left and right 60° angle lines each oriented 60° from the foul line; and left and right 90° angle lines each oriented 90° from the foul line. In another aspect, each of the markings is spaced from an adjacent marking in a common radial line a common spacing of about one foot/0.3 meters.

In one aspect, a method for improving basketball shooting success frequency is provided comprising the steps of positioning a shooter at a first location on a basketball floor; the shooter making a first plurality of attempts to shoot the ball into the basket; determining a success frequency of the plurality of attempts; either ending the method if the success frequency is lower than a threshold, or the shooter repositioning at a second location on a basketball floor if the success frequency is not lower than the threshold; the shooter making a second plurality of attempts to shoot the ball into the basket at the second position; and determining a success frequency of the second plurality of attempts. In one aspect, the second location is farther from the basket than the first location.

In another aspect, a method further comprises the steps of recording a number of attempts of the first plurality that did not go through the basket; and recording a number of attempts of the first plurality that did go through the basket.

In another aspect, a method comprises the steps of providing a plurality of markings applied to a basketball playing surface, wherein the plurality of markings are arrayed in a plurality of radial lines, each of the radial lines defined from a first center point defined on the basketball playing surface directly beneath a center of a basketball hoop, wherein the first location is common with a plurality of markings first near marking and the second location is common with a plurality of markings second far marking, the second far marking located distal to the center point relative to the first near marking; and a shooter progressively making sets of shot attempts at each of a plurality of markings within a first one of the radial lines, starting with an initial marking and progressing outward from the basket to a last marking farther from the basket relative to the initial marking dependent upon meeting a shots-made frequency threshold for each of the preceding marking.

In one aspect, a method further comprises selecting at least one threshold from a data input. In another aspect, divergent shot-made thresholds or shot set total numbers are provided for each of the first and second locations. In one aspect, a method comprises increasing an initial level threshold for a first location to a higher secondary threshold for subsequent shot attempt sets at the first location in response to a previous shot attempt set at the first location having a shots-made frequency greater than or equal to the initial level threshold. And, in one aspect, a method comprises a step of a second party verifying that a shooter meets at least one threshold.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention(s) 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.

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 a basketball court surface incorporating a system and method according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is another plan view of a basketball court surface incorporating a system and method according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of a form according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a plan view of another form according to the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of another form according to the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a plan view of another form according to the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a plan view of another form according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Turning first to FIG. 1, there is shown a plan view of a portion of a basketball court floor 10 with the markings 5 according to the present invention applied to it. A basketball hoop 1 is located above and parallel to the basketball court floor 10.

The top of the rim of the hoop 1 is generally located 10 feet/3.05 meters above the basketball court floor 10 for adult players, although this height may vary for alternative game dimensions. For example, it is common to use lower heights for younger players. Moreover, specific dimensions provided herein are for illustrative purposes only, and the practice of the systems and methods of the present invention are not limited to practice with any specific dimension.

In one aspect, the center 2 of the basketball hoop 1 is projected vertically downward directly normal to and onto the surface of the basketball court 10 and is used as a point of reference for other components, as will be described presently. A standard free-throw line 3 is also provided. This is typically located 13 feet/3.96 meters from the front of the hoop 1 as projected vertically downward directly normal to the basketball court floor 10. A free throw line arc 4 may be projected along a radius dimension defined from the projected center 2 of the basketball hoop 1 to the center 33 of the free throw line 3.

In one aspect, a plurality of shot location markers 5 is provided for indicating locations for practice shots by a shooter. In one aspect, the plurality of shot location markers 5 are distributed over the basketball court 10 to provide a comprehensive coverage of a portion of the basketball court 10, wherein a practicing shooter may systematically educate his or her eye and memory through multiple shooting repetitions at each shot location marker 5 in practice sessions, and thereby achieving improved shots-made accuracy from multiple locations within the portion of the basketball court 10 comprehended.

For example, in one embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, seventy-seven shot location markers 5 are provided in a free throw area 18 between the free throw line arc 4 and the hoop projection 1, of which there are eleven shot location markers 5 on each of seven marker lines 12. A first marker line 12a (hereinafter the “zero-angle line” 12a) is oriented with respect to the foul line center 33, with a farthest shot location marker 5k located on the foul line center and the remainder ten shot location markers 5 arrayed a common spacing distance 8 toward the hoop center point 2, the common spacing distance 8 in the present embodiment equal to about one foot/0.3 meters, the closest zero-angle marker line 12a marker 5a located a distance 21 of about 3 feet/0.9 meters from the hoop center projection 2.

Left marker line 12b and right marker line 12c of eleven markers 5 spaced the common spacing distance 8 each are oriented on either side of the zero angle line 12a, the lines 12b and 12c oriented to include the hoop center projection 2 and each separated from the zero-angle line 12a line by a common angle δ of 30° (the “30° angle lines” 12b and 12c). Additional left marker line 12d and right marker line 12e of eleven markers 5, each spaced the common spacing distance 8, are also oriented on either side of the zero angle line 12a and to include the hoop center projection 2, wherein left line 12d is separated from adjacent left 30° angle line 12b by the common angle δ of 30° and, therefore, separated from the zero-angle line 12a line by a total angle of 60°; and right line 12e is separated from adjacent right 30° angle line 12c by the common angle δ of 30° and, therefore, separated from the zero-angle line 12a line by a total angle of 60° (the “60° angle lines” 12d and 12e).

And lastly, additional left marker line 12f and right marker line 12g of eleven markers 5, each spaced the common spacing distance 8, are also oriented on either side of the zero angle line 12a generally parallel to the base line 14 of the basketball court surface 10 and including the hoop center projection 2, wherein left line 12f is separated from adjacent left 60° angle line 12d by the common angle δ of 30° and, therefore, separated from the zero-angle line 12a line by a total angle of 90°; and right line 12g is separated from adjacent right 60° angle line 12e by the common angle δ of 30° and, therefore, separated from the zero-angle line 12a line by a total angle of 90° (the “90° angle lines” 12f and 12g).

Each marking 5 has an identifier 9 number or other character for identification. In one example, the closest markers 5a are labeled “1”, and each with adjacent markers in each line 12 labeled with increasing number labels as the distance from the hoop center 2 increases. Thus, the seventh marker 5g in each line 12 will be labeled “7” as illustrated in the detail view provided in FIG. 1, and the farthest markers 5k labeled “11”. It is thus apparent that any specific marker 5 will be identifiable by referring to its line 12 and marker 5 label 9; for example, “left 60° marker 7.”

Turning next to FIG. 2, there is shown a plan view of the basketball court 10 with additional markings 5l through 5q according to the present invention spaced the common spacing distance 8 from each other as described above along the marker lines 12, more particularly relative to a three-point area 20 which lies outside the free-throw line arc 4 and is defined relative to a three-point arc 25. As is well known in the art, the three-point arc 25 is optionally incorporated onto a standard basketball court surface 10, wherein shots made by a player whose feet are located on the basketball court surface 10 beyond the three-point arc 25 relative to the hoop 10 are awarded three points, in contrast to two points awarded for shots made on the basketball court surface 10 within the three-point arc 25.

In one aspect, the markings 5l-5q within the three-point area 20 may optionally bear different marking labels 29 to distinguish them from markings 5 within the free-throw line arc 4. For example, “3-4” may designate a fourth marking 5 beyond the free throw line arc 4 on any one of the marker lines 12. In another aspect, markings 5r beyond the three-point area 20 may also bear a further distinguishing label (not illustrated).

In the present embodiment, the distance 28 from the free-throw line arc 4 to the three-point arc 25 is about six feet/1.8 meters, although other distances 28 or dimensions may be practiced according to applicable agreement, rules or standards. For example, in the United States, college and high school regulations generally specify that the three-point arc 25 is determined by selecting a point 5.25 feet/1.60 meters on a straight line normal to the base line 14 and then tracing the three-point arc 25 of about 19.75 feet/6 meters. However, the specific distance 28 or dimensions of the three-point arc 25 are not critical to the invention, and other configurations may be practiced.

Accordingly, in one embodiment, seventy-seven shot location markers 5 are provided within the free-throw line arc 4, forty-two shot location markers 5l-5q are provided within the three-point arc 25, and seven more shot location markers 5r are provided beyond the three-point arc 25, each providing discrete and readily identifiable locations to practice repetitive shooting and build eye-hand coordination, muscle memory and confidence, thereby increasing the frequency of shots made.

In another aspect, a system and method are provided for performing sets of shots at designated markings 5. In one aspect, a marking 5 may be chosen on a progressively increasing distance from the hoop 10 basis relative to a previously chosen marking 5. For example, a basketball shooter positions him or herself at a first marking 5 of one of the marker lines 12 and attempts a specific number of shots. The number of attempts may be specified or may vary. In one aspect, the number of attempts may be dependent upon a demonstrated shots-made frequency proficiency level. Upon conclusion of the set of shots, the shooter moves outward to a second marking 5 further from the hoop 1 as compared to the first marking 5 and then performs another set of shots. The progression may be further conditioned upon a demonstrated shots-made frequency proficiency level at the first marking 5.

For example, in one system and method example, a basketball shooter positions himself at a “no. 1” marking 5a closest to the hoop 1 of the zero-angle line marker line 12a and attempts a specific number of shots in one set. In one aspect, it is preferred that the number of attempts in the set will vary between five and ten at marking 5a, and at each subsequent marking 5. Set sizes of from five to ten have been found to produce increases in shots-made frequencies for shooters within an efficient total practice timeframe; however, it will be apparent that other set sizes may be practiced. In one aspect, the proficiency level of the shooter may determine the number of attempts. Generally, it is preferred that as a shooter becomes more proficient, a set size selected increases.

When the shot set is complete at marking 5a, the shooter moves in a sequential progression from marking “no. 1” 5a to marking “no. 11” 5k at the center 33 of the foul line 3. In one aspect, a shooter then moves to another line 12 and repeats the process of shooting a predetermined number of attempts beginning with the closest marking “no. 1” 5a and progressing to marking “no. 11” 5k. In another aspect, a shooter may instead continue to progress outward through the markings 5l-5q within the three-point area 20 to the marking 5r beyond the three-point area 20.

The zero-angle line marker line 12a is generally chosen as the initial marker line 12, in order to enable progress in a timely and efficient manner to practice shots at the marker 5k at the center 33 of the foul line 3. As a high shots-made frequency for foul shots may be critical to winning a basketball game, wherein foul shots may be awarded on an increasing basis at the end of a game to a player's team, in one aspect improvement to foul line shots-made frequency is an important objective to the system and method taught herein. However, other goals may be served by the present invention, and divergent progressions and shot sets may be readily practiced according to the present invention in order to develop improved shots-made frequencies at one or more other markings 5.

In one aspect, a system and method for progression through the markings 5 dependent upon proficiency is provided. Referring now to FIG. 3, a shooter demonstrates a first proficiency level in an initial “5for5” evolution as described by the 5for5 worksheet 300. In a first proficiency level evolution, a shooter is instructed at upper left box 302a to attempt a set of five shots at the closest marking “no. 1” 5a of zero-angle line marker line 12a. The shooter progressively moves down this first chart column 310 to attempt sets of five shots at each of the next zero-angle line marker line 12a markers 5 as instructed by the chart boxes 302a through 302j.

In one aspect, a first level of proficiency is demonstrated by achieving one of one or more specified shots-made frequency requirements. Accordingly, a goal of the shooter is to make every one of the five shot attempts at each of the first six markers, and the shooter is otherwise required to miss no more than twelve shots total of the 55 shots attempted at the eleven markers 5, thereby evidencing a 78% shots-made frequency, including 100% from the first 6 markers 5.

In one aspect, the 5for5 worksheet 300 provides entry blocks for the shooter to record his or her results. More particularly, where indicated, the shooter fills in name 314, date 316 and day 318 of attempts, and the number of shots actually made at each of the farthest markers 5 from the hoop 1 on zero-angle line 12a, numbers 7 through 11 as shown on the form boxes 302g through 302j. Each column also has a number of miss tally boxes 320 equaling the number of permissible misses. For example, on the 5for5 worksheet 300, there are twelve miss tally boxes 320 at the bottom of each column. As is apparent, the boxes help a shooter keep track of performance for each day attempted. Alternative embodiments may also provide for entry of actual shots made for the first six markers 5.

In one aspect, once twelve misses are exceeded, then the shooting practice session ends; it is preferred that the shooter records his or her performance as indicated on the form, thereby showing shots made prior to the thirteenth miss. In a preferred embodiment, a shooter should have no misses from the first six markers 5, thus “ 5/5” entries are pre-printed in these first six blocks 302. This may be suggested or a mandatory requirement for proficiency.

In one aspect, by recording results on the form, shooter data is accumulated for study. The practice data may be used by the shooter, or a coach working with the player, or even a centralized remote coaching service, to make practice recommendations to the shooter for performance improvement. Historical performance data may also be tracked for other data analysis purposes. In one aspect, a coaching program or algorithm may output practice tips or evolution-based from shooter performance data input.

For the shooter's next attempts at proving proficiency, each of the next columns 310 are progressively used for each evolution attempt to prove proficiency, with the results again recorded and session identity recorded, such as day or other session identifier if more than one evolution is attempted per day. Although it is generally preferred that no more than one evolution be attempted per day, in some methods and systems more than one evolution may be attempted on a given day. In one aspect, when a shooter makes less than twelve misses over the 55 shot evolution, the shooter has demonstrated proficiency and may move on to a next level.

In one aspect, additional forms may be used to evidence proficiency and/or otherwise provide a means for capture of data. In one example, a Player's Qualification form 400 is illustrated in FIG. 4, which provides for date data entries 402, shooter name data entries 404, one or more witness data entries 406, and actual observed performance data entries 408. Forms and worksheets according to the present invention may provide proficiency charts (not shown) or other overview information for every level contemplated, such as expected shots-made frequencies for different levels, in order to provide an overall orientation to the program for a shooter. This may inform the shooter of the proficiencies required for this first level, and for each of more subsequent levels.

In another aspect, a Coach's Validation form 500 is illustrated in FIG. 5. As is apparent, this may be used by a coach or other person to verify proficiency by having the player demonstrate in the coach's presence. Thus, the form 500 provides for date data entries 502, shooter name data entries 504, coach or other witness data entries 506, and actual performance data entries 508. In one aspect, validation performance may be scaled back in number of attempts while maintaining a required proficient shots-made frequency threshold. Thus, in one example, only three attempts need be made at each of the eleven markings 5 in the presence of the coach or other verifier, but the same proficient frequency is required. Therefore, as shown by a threshold notice 510, the shooter must make a total of 14 of 18 shots to demonstrate the 78% achieved in accomplishing this first level (fifty-five attempts with no more than twelve misses). It will be apparent that this increases time efficiencies for coach's validation evolutions, enabling quicker validations, and more validation per day for each coach.

In one example, achievement of the proscribed proficiency level qualifies the shooter to move to a next level described by a “6for6” worksheet 600 of FIG. 6. In a similar fashion to the “5for5” worksheet 300, the shooter fills in name 614, date 616 and day 618 of attempts, and shots made at boxes 602 for each of the farthest markers 5 from the hoop 1 on zero-angle line 12a, numbers 7 through 11 as shown on the form boxes 602g through 602j. Each column also has a number of miss tally boxes 620 equaling the number of permissible misses. For example, on this 6for6 worksheet 600, there are thirteen miss tally boxes 620 at the bottom of each column, for a proficiency requirement of 80% for the “free throw” zero-angle line marker line 12a. Accordingly, in one aspect, the number of attempts made per marker 5 in each set is increased, as is the required shots-made frequency percentage.

In another aspect, at second and/or subsequent levels the shooter must now also demonstrate proficiency through sets of shots at additional markers 5. In the present embodiment, the shooter must now perform shot sets at the first eleven markers of each of the 60° angle lines 12d and 12e within indicated thresholds. In one aspect, the number of shots and/or proficiency threshold may vary from those specified for the free throw zero-angle line marker line 12a. In the present embodiment shown, a second worksheet 700 in FIG. 7 for the 60° angle lines 12d and 12e is provided, with entry blanks for entry as generally described above with respect to sheets 300 and 600, and that specifies a divergent (in this case lower) shot set of four for each of the first eleven markers 5 and requires a divergent proficiency percentage (again, in this case lower, 70%, no more than thirteen misses).

Thus, in one aspect, differentiation in shot set number and/or shots-made frequency percentages are provided between and/or within a given proficiency level. The amount of differentiation and/or specific shot set number and/or shots-made frequency percentages may be predetermined for all shooters, in a standard method and system designed to be used consistently by all shooters. Differentiation may be determined in response to one or more factors, such as a generally expected increase in difficulty level, or a choice to focus on some selected shots as generally more important than others. In another aspect, shot set number and/or shots-made frequency percentage differentiation may be customized and set in response to one or more factors, such as an individual shooter or team shooter demographic (such as, for example, age, sex, height, etc.); a need to reduce practice times or shot repetitions (such as due to injury recovery); through feedback from shooter performance in previous sessions (which may indicate extra shots at some positions); or through other factors.

In one aspect, player and/or coaches' validations sheets may also be provided for the second and any subsequent level. Alternative embodiments may utilize other or additional markers for any level. Other marker lines 12 may be selected or more distant markers 5l-5r may be added or substituted in any line 12.

In another aspect, the nature of the specific shot technique may also be specified by the present system and method. For example, referring again to FIG. 7, as the worksheet 700 illustrates, the shooter is instructed to attempt only “bank shots” from the 60° angle lines 12d and 12e markers 5. In one aspect, it is believed that bank shots have the highest probability of success in a game situation from these locations and, thus, the system and method instruct that the practice sets comprise bank shots. Alternative embodiments may otherwise instruct a shooter to make “jump shots”, or a combination of bank shots and jump shots, from these or from any other of the markers 5. In this fashion, the present system and method also provide for a systematic method for improving shots-made frequencies for a specific type of shooting, optionally from one or more specific locations on the basketball floor.

In one aspect, the use of the present teaching method and system promotes and improves the ability of the basketball player to shoot the basketball through the basketball hoop successfully from any spot on the basketball court. It is believed that comprehensive shots-made frequency improvement is accomplished throughout the entire free-throw area 18 and/or three-point area 20 and regions adjacent and between the three-point markers 5r due to the quantity and locations of the markings 5 on the basketball court surface 10. For example, by repetitive practicing from the 7th markers 5g located on the 60° angle line 12d and the 30° angle line 12b, that a shooter will also improve his or her shots-made frequency from shot locations along and adjacent to the radius 30 illustrated in FIG. 1 connecting these two markers 5g, as shots taken from such locations will seem to the shooter to be from the about same distance from the hoop and from a similar and familiar visual angle. The more that a shot feels like one that has been made successfully in the past, the more that a shooter will relax and let his or her well-practiced muscle memory takeover, thereby improving actual shots—made frequency.

This is also further reinforced and accomplished by another aspect of the present invention, wherein it is preferred that the shooter practice initially at the closest markings 5, and progressively shoot further from the basket hoop for subsequent sets of shots. It is believed that the shooter's confidence is improved by beginning with the easiest shots first, and that by slowly increasing shooting distance for each set of shots, that the next set of shots will not seem to the shooter to be very much farther (or more difficult) than the previous set of shots. Therefore, once the shooter arrives at the farther markings 5 in any given line 12, said farther markings will seem to present an easier shot than if the farthest markings 5 are selected instead for the commencement of practice, as is common with prior art systems and methods. The shooter is also incrementally building upon the hand-eye coordination and muscle memory achieved at each of the closer markings 5 and, therefore, is much more prepared to make successful shots when shots are finally attempted from the farther markings 5 (such as, for example, markers at the foul shot distance marker 5k and those beyond 5l-5r).

It is believed that improvement in shooter's shots-made frequencies is further enabled by a consistent practice at the same shot locations for each practice session, or level attempted. Accordingly, in another aspect, it is preferred that the specific locations of the markings 5 relative to the hoop 1 remain fixed and unchanging from day to day, practice session to practice session. This may be accomplished in a number of ways. In one example, adhesive or permanently affixed marking 5 and/or associated label 9 and/or 29 decals may be applied to the basketball court surface 10. Although this may be appropriate both in indoor and outdoor settings, superior durability will be apparent if the decals are fixed to indoor basketball court flooring and protective transparent coatings are applied thereto, such as, for example, polyurethane protective floor finishes covering details affixed to wooden basketball flooring. The markings 5 and/or associated labels 9 and/or 29 may also be painted directly to the basketball court surface.

Alternative embodiments of the markings 5 and/or associated labels 9 and/or 29 may also comprise light components. For example, the markings 5 and/or associated labels 9 and/or 29 may comprise light components visible to the shooter's eye, such as self-illuminating incandescent, LED, LCD, fluorescent or any other type of light element. Such light elements may be further configured to be selectively lighted; thereby only those markings to be used in a specific set of shots or practice evolution need be lighted for a specific shooter.

In another aspect, projected light systems and methods may be used to provide the markings 5 and/or associated labels 9 and/or 29. For example, one or more light projecting apparatus(es) (not shown) may be positioned to project the markings 5 and/or associated labels 9 and/or 29 upon the basketball floor. In another hybrid decal and projection system, the markings 5 and/or associated labels 9 and/or 29 may be configured to be visible only when a specific input is provided; for example, only when illuminated with a specific light wavelength, such as infrared, ultraviolet, or any specific visible color(s) wavelength. Thus, the present system and method may be configured to be visible or apparent upon the basketball surface only when desired, in order to prevent unwanted floor markings from visually interfering with other uses of the basketball court surface outside of practice sessions, or otherwise requiring unwanted visibility of the markings 5 and/or associated labels 9 and/or 29.

In another aspect, worksheets according to the present invention may be produced in typical paper form. They may be tangibly configured for attachment or permanently affixed to or laminated upon clipboards, thus providing advantages in use at practice facilities that lack writing surfaces, such as gymnasiums. They may be printed onto to erasable media, such as dry-erase marker boards, enabling more than one user to use the form, enter their data, and then copy to another more permanent source if needed. The forms may also be incorporated into software and used with PC's, tablet PC's, PDA's, cellular phone screens, or any other type of image screen or electronic display device, preferably one configured to receive input data.

As referred to generally above, shooter's performance data may be accumulated and processed through computer processing systems and methods, including local and network processor resources. The processed data may be used to provide individualized training regimens and otherwise revise the level(s) being practiced by the shooter. It may also be used as feedback to revise general programs and systems.

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.

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.





 
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