Title:
Method and apparatus for ball kicking practice
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A ball kicking practice device having target indica located in at least one position on the exterior of the ball. Feedback indica circumferentially located on the ball extending through the target changes in appearance in form or color subsequent to a proper strike of the ball with the foot. Shoe contact indica provides contact points on a shoe for practicing contact with the targets on the exterior of the ball and to allow the user to practice keeping their eyes trained on the ball through contact by the user's foot and thereafter received feedback of a proper or improper strike from the change in appearance of the feedback indica.



Inventors:
Flores, Matthew F. (Temecula, CA, US)
Flores, Harrison M. (US)
Application Number:
12/004967
Publication Date:
06/26/2008
Filing Date:
12/20/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DONN K. HARMS (DEL MAR, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A ball kicking practice apparatus comprising: a ball having an exterior surface; target indica located on at least one point of said exterior surface designating a target for a point of contact for the foot of a user in a strike of the ball; feedback indica located on said exterior surface, said feedback indica having a first appearance when said ball is stationary and having a second appearance on said ball when propelled subsequent to said strike of said ball; and said second appearance of said indica providing visual means for said user to ascertain said strike has propelled said ball on a proper trajectory.

2. The ball kicking practice apparatus of claim 1 additionally comprising: said first appearance of said indicia being a dotted line extending circumferentially in opposite directions from said target indicia; and said second appearance being a solid line.

3. The ball kicking practice apparatus of claim 1 additionally comprising: said first appearance of said indicia being a stripe extending circumferentially in opposite directions from said target indicia; and said second appearance being said stripe having a different color from said stripe in said first appearance.

4. The ball kicking practice apparatus of claim 3 additionally comprising: said stipe formed of indica consisting of at least two different colors; and said second appearance being a third color comprised of an optical mixing of said of said two different colors by rotation of said ball.

5. The ball kicking practice apparatus of claim 1 additionally comprising said target indica providing means for said user to practice maintaining an eye contact with said ball until said strike occurs.

6. The ball kicking practice apparatus of claim 2 additionally comprising: said target indica providing means for said user to practice maintaining an eye contact with said ball until said strike occurs.

7. The ball kicking practice apparatus of claim 3 additionally comprising: said target indica providing means for said user to practice maintaining an eye contact with said ball until said strike occurs.

8. The ball kicking practice apparatus of claim 4 additionally comprising: said target indica providing means for said user to practice maintaining an eye contact with said ball until said strike occurs.

9. The ball kicking practice apparatus of claim 1 additionally comprising: a shoe worn by said user for said strike of said ball; said shoe having indica thereon designating at least one contact point for said shoe with said target indica during said strike of said ball; said contact point providing means to practice striking said ball from a position on said shoe wherein said contact point is located, and said second appearance of said indica providing visual means for said user to ascertain said strike with said contact point on said target indica has propelled said ball on a proper trajectory.

10. The ball kicking practice apparatus of claim 1 additionally comprising: a shoe worn by said user for said strike of said ball; said shoe having indica thereon designating at least one contact point for said shoe with said target indica during said strike of said ball; said contact point providing means to practice striking said ball from a position on said shoe wherein said contact point is located, and said second appearance of said indica providing visual means for said user to ascertain said strike with said contact point on said target indica has propelled said ball on a proper trajectory.

11. The ball kicking practice apparatus of claim 2 additionally comprising: a shoe worn by said user for said strike of said ball; said shoe having indica thereon designating at least one contact point for said shoe with said target indica during said strike of said ball; said contact point providing means to practice striking said ball from a position on said shoe wherein said contact point is located, and said second appearance of said indica providing visual means for said user to ascertain said strike with said contact point on said target indica has propelled said ball on a proper trajectory.

12. The ball kicking practice apparatus of claim 4 additionally comprising: a shoe worn by said user for said strike of said ball; said shoe having indica thereon designating at least one contact point for said shoe with said target indica during said strike of said ball; said contact point providing means to practice striking said ball from a position on said shoe wherein said contact point is located, and said second appearance of said indica providing visual means for said user to ascertain said strike with said contact point on said target indica has propelled said ball on a proper trajectory.

13. The ball kicking practice apparatus of claim 6 additionally comprising: a shoe worn by said user for said strike of said ball; said shoe having indica thereon designating at least one contact point for said shoe with said target indica during said strike of said ball; said contact point providing means to practice striking said ball from a position on said shoe wherein said contact point is located, and said second appearance of said indica providing visual means for said user to ascertain said strike with said contact point on said target indica has propelled said ball on a proper trajectory.

14. The ball kicking practice apparatus of claim 2 additionally comprising: said dotted line extending in opposite directions from said target indicia on said surface of said ball to form a complete circle on said surface; and said proper trajectory being a rolling of said ball on said surface of said ball along said dotted line with a plane formed by said dotted line through said ball substantially perpendicular to the ground, whereby said line will appear to said user as said solid line as said ball continues in said rolling.

15. The ball kicking practice apparatus of claim 4 additionally comprising: said indica being half tones consisting of said at least two different colors; said second appearance being said third color; and said proper trajectory being a rolling of said ball on said surface of said ball along said stripe with a plane formed by said stripe through said ball substantially perpendicular to the ground, whereby said stripe will appear to said user in said third color as said ball continues in said rolling.

16. The ball kicking practice apparatus of claim 11 additionally comprising: said dotted line extending in opposite directions from said target indicia on said surface of said ball to form a complete circle on said surface; and said proper trajectory being a rolling of said ball on said surface of said ball along said dotted line with a plane formed by said dotted line through said ball substantially perpendicular to the ground, whereby said line will appear to said user as said solid line as said ball continues in said rolling.

17. The ball kicking practice apparatus of claim 12 additionally comprising: said indica being half tones consisting of said at least two different colors; said second appearance being said third color; and said proper trajectory being a rolling of said ball on said surface of said ball along said stripe with a plane formed by said stripe through said ball substantially perpendicular to the ground, whereby said stripe will appear to said user in said third color as said ball continues in said rolling.

18. The ball kicking practice apparatus of claim 1 additionally comprising: a ball having an exterior surface; said target indica located at a plurality of points on said exterior surface designating a plurality of said targets for a point of contact for the foot of a user in a strike of the ball; and feedback indica located on said exterior surface, said feedback indica having a first appearance when said ball is stationary and having a second appearance on said ball when propelled subsequent to said strike of said ball; and said second appearance of said indica providing visual means for said user to ascertain said strike at any of said plurality of target points has propelled said ball on a proper trajectory.

19. The ball kicking practice apparatus of claim 10 additionally comprising: a ball having an exterior surface; said target indica located at a plurality of points on said exterior surface designating a plurality of said targets for a point of contact for the foot of a user in a strike of the ball; feedback indica located on said exterior surface, said feedback indica having a first appearance when said ball is stationary and having a second appearance on said ball when propelled subsequent to said strike of said ball; and said second appearance of said indica providing visual means for said user to ascertain said strike at any of said plurality of target points has propelled said ball on a proper trajectory.

20. The ball kicking practice apparatus of claim 19 additionally comprising: said indicia designating said contact point being located on a planar band; and said band engageable around said shoe. said shoe having indica thereon designating at least one contact point for said shoe with said target indica during said strike of said ball; said contact point providing means to practice striking said ball from a position on said shoe wherein said contact point is located, and said second appearance of said indica providing visual means for said user to ascertain said strike with said contact point on said target indica has propelled said ball on a proper trajectory.

Description:

This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/871,004 filed Dec. 20, 2006, and incorporated herein in its entirety by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The disclosed device relates to ball kicking practice for players of games such as soccer. More particularly, the disclosed device and method of employment thereof relate to placement of indica on a ball which will change in appearance in reaction to an accurate or correct kick by the user and targeting devices on the ball and shoe to encourage continuous eye contact by the user with the intended target of their foot.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Soccer is a game played throughout the world by adults and children and takes a particularly high degree of foot and eye coordination for the player to accurately kick or strike the ball. Much like other sports where a ball must be accurately struck to propel it toward the intended target, players must develop the ability to maintain their eye on the ball in order to pass the ball to other players or to attempt to propel the ball into a goal. Kicking the ball with the wrong portion of the foot will impart an unintended trajectory to the ball causing missed passes and goal attempts and is detrimental to good team play.

As is well known to experienced soccer players, it is advantageous to master the skill of striking a soccer ball in different areas to cause the ball to travel along a desired flight path. While experienced soccer players after years of practice become adept at controlling the flight of a soccer ball for passing or scoring during games through striking the soccer ball in a particular area, newer players lack this essential skill.

Additionally, varying game situations call for different ball trajectories that can only be imparted by accurate foot and ball contact to different areas of both the ball and foot. During a game in a defending situation where the player is just trying to clear the ball from his team's goal, the player may simply kick the soccer ball as far as possible. Alternatively, in an offensive situation with multiple players attacking the opposing goal, accuracy and good control of the soccer ball flight trajectory is imperative for team play and scoring goals.

While just about any type of player can kick a ball with their foot, it is a much rarer player who possess the agility and foot to ball coordination to accurately control the flight of the soccer ball in these differing situations.

Conventionally, training young and even older players generally involves providing a ball to strike with the foot with the visual review of a coach and subsequent oral communication of the player's form from the coach. For younger players this is a problem since coaches are not always available to help them in their quest of becoming proficient at kicking the ball accurately, and they are provided no visual reference to ascertain exactly what type of foot to ball contact constitutes proper form.

As a consequence, practice of kicking for accurate foot placement on the ball and maintaining eye contact to do so is inhibited. Further, even when they do strike the ball, if a coach is not present to review the performance, they have no feedback from which to ascertain if their contact with the ball was true to desired form, and if they maintained their eyes on the ball during the strike.

As such there is an unmet need for a device and method that provides soccer players seeking improvement in their ball striking ability with a manner to train themselves for continuous eye contact with the ball. Such a device and method should provide players with a foot contact point of reference where contact with the ball is preferable for each type of kick. Further, such a device should provide players with a ball point of contact reference which is ideal for placement of the foot contact point of reference during the kick. Combined these two points of contact reference also provide the player with a means to practice the art of maintaining eye contact on the ball throughout the strike of their foot. Failure to keep their eye on the ball is a constant complaint regarding player's performance by coaches.

Finally, and particularly important, such a device should provide some means of visual feedback to the player, verifying that their contact with the ball was at the proper point on both the ball and foot to yield the intended trajectory of the ball. The visual reference should allow even very young users to ascertain they have struck the ball correctly. Such a means of feedback will allow players to practice by themselves, without a coach, and ascertain by themselves that they have hit the ball correctly with their foot, and whether or not they are employing the point of contact references on the ball and foot correctly. This will allow for practice by players of any age and without special equipment to ascertain correct form.

In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention 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 the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception upon which this disclosure is based may readily be utilized as a basis for designing other vertical-axis wind turbines and methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent construction insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

An object of this invention is the provision a soccer practice device that provides visual references to the player of proper points of contact on both the foot and the ball to allow for practice with or without a coach present.

A further object of this invention is to provide such a ball kicking practice device that encourages the continuous viewing of the ball throughout the strike to train the player to keep their eyes on the ball during a kick.

An additional object of this invention in the most preferred mode is the provision of a kicking practice device that provides visual feedback to the user as to whether their foot and ball contact was sufficiently accurate to correctly project the ball without the need for a goal or target.

A further object of this invention is the provision of such a device for ball kicking practice which even very young players who cannot read may use and receive visual feedback of correct kicking form to allow them to practice without a coach.

These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of the construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part thereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The device and method of operation herein described and disclosed provides visual references to the player practicing kicking to aid the player in obtaining foot to eye coordination during the kicking of a ball such as a soccer ball to obtain the correct subsequent trajectory for the struck ball. Various components used singularly or in combination will allow players to practice their kicking form and to also practice and learn the delicate art of maintaining eye contact with the ball and foot, such that muscle and mental memories are formed resulting in better form throughout the kick which result in better overall play.

The device features a foot targeting system that allows the player to ascertain the proper point of contact of a ball with their foot to yield the desired trajectory of the ball. Additionally provided is a ball targeting system for the ball which the user employs to practice the proper point of contact with the foot targeting system in order to yield the best form and subsequent kick. Combined, the foot targeting system and the ball targeting system provide a means for the player to practice maintaining eye contact with the ball before, during, and after the strike by their foot. This is a major skill that must be developed by soccer players to become better at playing the game.

In younger players who may not have the verbal skills to ascertain what a coach is telling them and who may not posses the physical skills to properly strike the ball, the system has been found to be especially useful. Frequently, such younger players have no idea where on their foot is the proper point of contact with a soccer ball to yield the correct or desired resulting trajectory. Some players have carryover habits from sports such as kick ball, where they have been trained to hit the ball on the top of their foot rather than the side. Thus by providing foot targets and ball targets the contact of which being the object of the exercise, young players and even older players are taught proper form and contact points between ball and foot.

In continuously trying to place the foot target in contact with the ball target, not only is muscle memory formed to aid the player in repeating the skill, it has been found that eye to foot maintenance during the kick is significantly improved. A majority of players lack this essential skill and frequently look away too early from the strike of their foot on the ball and never develop a good eye to foot coordination, nor the ability to maintain eye contact throughout the strike. Using the disclosed foot and ball targeting system, the essential skill of maintenance of eye contact is significantly improved.

Still further, in addition to the ball targeting system, the device and method herein provides a means for visual feedback that is especially valuable to players. This visual feedback is accomplished by placing indica on the ball in the proper positions relative to the targeting component on the ball and thereafter provides the user with immediate visual feedback as to whether their foot contact with the ball was correct for the shot intended.

Such a visual feedback system is a most important function since players have either had to have a coach watch and comment on their style and results, or, employ some sort of target to attempt to drive the ball toward. Since coaches or parents are not always available, feedback after each practice kick is inhibited. Attempting to drive the ball toward a target to ascertain correct contact will actually encourage the player to take their eye off the ball. Consequently, conventional practice systems and methods inhibit the acquisition of the skill of maintaining eye contact with the ball and foot throughout the strike since the player tends to look at the target too soon or throughout the strike rather than at the ball up to the contact by the foot.

A number of indicia types are included in the current preferred mode of the device which may be employed in combination with the foot and ball targets, or without them as the case may be, yet still provide valuable feedback immediately after the kick of a proper or improper kick. In the simplest mode of the indica providing visual means for feedback, a dotted line is employed which is placed circumferentially on the exterior of the ball. The dotted line or lines are positioned inline with one or more targets which are positioned on the ball for the ball targeting system at which the user contacts with a foot. The line appears dotted when the ball is stationary, and blurs if the ball is struck incorrectly by the foot on the target. However, if the player hits the ball on the contact point target of the ball with the correct spot on their foot, when the ball rolls straight and inline with the ball target, the dotted line will assume a solid look to the player. This simplest form of indica thereby yields immediate feedback as to proper contact with the ball to produce a proper trajectory.

In another mode of indicia placement, the dotted line can be formed of half tones or dots or lines of alternating colors which when combined will yield a third color. This may be done by either placing the indica in small dots or half tones of the alternating colors in a width of the ultimate stripe, or by making the dotted line in alternating colors which combine to display a third color.

If the ball is correctly hit by the player, and the half tones or alternating colors making up the stripe are for instance blue and yellow, when the ball spins away from the contact with the player's foot, the colors will combine and appear to the eye of the user to show a green stripe. This is immediate visual feedback which even a small child, unable to read, can easily understand. If, however, the ball is struck on the ball target poorly, or with the wrong point on the foot, no stripe will appear as the ball moves away at an angle to the axis of the line and will appear as a blur of the dots or dotted line moving in the wrong spin and trajectory.

Secondary indica may also be placed on the ball in the form of stripes or halftones or other color patterns in stipes that are at varying angles to the first stripe running through the target on the ball. These secondary stripes can be employed for the player to practice putting “English” or a spin on the ball as it concurrently rolls on the ground in its trajectory. A horizontally spinning ball which is concurrently rolling away from the player can yield a visually delectable form of indica of a horizontal line along the line of the spin to show that the player has achieved the desired spin to curve the ball as it rolls on the field.

Indica forming the shoe or foot targeting system may be imparted directly upon the shoe surface or using an elastic planar ring of material that fits around the shoe along a line generally from the arch over the top of the laces to the outside edge of the shoe. Indica formed on the ball surface may likewise be imparted to the ball using silkscreen or other means of direct printing on the ball, or might be done with stickers for the targets and elongated film strips having indica for the stripes which only appear correctly with a correct hit on the target by the foot.

Of course those skilled in the art will realize that other means for imparting indica to the shoe and the ball can be employed and any such imparting of targeting indica to the ball or shoe and feedback indica in the form of lines or stripes or similar indica for feedback are anticipated in the scope of this invention.

With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention. Therefore, the foregoing description and following detailed description are considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, because of the disclosure herein, numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art. It is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents which may occur to those skilled in the art are considered to fall within the scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a view of the disclosed device employed in the method for ball kicking practice showing the shoe having at least one and preferably a plurality of shoe targets impacting a ball with appropriately positioned ball targeting positions.

FIG. 2 is a top view of a shoe showing indicia positioned at a plurality of targeting positions for contact with a ball.

FIG. 3 depicts another mode of the shoe wherein a band is engaged around the shoe to place targeting positions on the exterior of the shoe.

FIG. 4 depicts a side view of the shoe showing the inside surface and top surface with shoe targets thereon.

FIG. 5 depicts a side view of a ball having a ball targeting position thereon and broken line hemispherically aligned with the target.

FIG. 6 depicts a visual change occurring with a properly struck ball of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 shows a plurality of ball targeting positions designated by indicia on the exterior surface of the ball and lines latitudinally and longitudinally thereon.

FIG. 8 depicts an embodiment of the ball herein wherein the line or stripe is formed of colored indica adapted to change color when correctly driven by a strike to the ball targeting position.

FIG. 9 depicts an enlarged section of the stripe of FIG. 8 in one mode of providing a color change for feedback to the user when the ball is correctly struck.

FIG. 10 depicts the ball of FIG. 8 wherein the stripe has changed color during movement along a proper trajectory.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to the drawings depicting the device 10 in FIGS. 1-10, wherein similar parts are identified by like reference numerals, FIG. 1 depicts a view of the device 10 for ball kicking practice disclosed herein showing the shoe 11 having at least one and preferably a plurality of shoe targets 12 positioned thereon moving toward impact with a ball 14 having at least one ball targeting position 16. As noted above, in use for practicing the kicking of the ball 14 along a particular trajectory, and to provide visual means to practice keeping the user's eye on the ball 14 and foot, one or a plurality of shoe targets 12 are positioned on the shoe 11 and at least one ball targeting position 16 is placed on the ball 14.

In practicing for certain types of kicks, the appropriate shoe target 12 is aligned for contact with the ball 14 during each strike or kick. The player during each kick maintains eye contact with the shoe target 12 of choice, to its contact with the ball targeting position 16 of choice continuously, until impact with the ball 14 occurs. If kicked correctly to yield the correct trajectory of the ball 14, indica on the ball 14 in the form of a stripe 18 will provide a visual means for verification of a correct kick of the ball 14. The ball 14 is placed in a position on the ground wherein the indica will be visibly changed during the subsequent roll of the ball 14 which as shown in FIG. 1, in one especially preferred mode, places the indica in the form of a stipe 18 hemispherically located on the ball perpendicular to the ground.

The shoe targets shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 4, may be silkscreened or appliqued or glued or otherwise engaged directly to the exterior of the ball 14. In a particularly preferred mode of the device 10, the shoe targets 12 may be provided with adhesive on the rear side or hook and loop fabric or other means for the user to position the shoe targets 12 on their own shoes in the positions desired for their practice. Or the shoe targets 12 may be applied to the shoes in a permanent fashion at manufacture or afterwards using ink or paint or similar medium. Or, in another particularly preferred mode of the device 10 the shoe targets 12 may be positioned upon a band 20 which engages around the shoe 11. The band 20 is preferably elastic such that it will expand over the circumference of the shoe and then retract to compressibly engage over the shoe positioning the shoe targets in the appropriate positions. This mode using the band 20 would allow for easy on and off of the shoe targets 12 and easy changing of their positions on the shoe 11 and would allow for some easy customization of the targets 12 themselves for instance using some type of team colors or logo. The elastic band 20 also helps keep the laces tied on the shoe 11 and provides a more planar even surface of contact with the ball than does the laces alone.

The shoe targets 12 while pictured as bulls eyes, can be any target indica that the user considers easy to follow with the eye and as such, any design for the target that would occur to those skilled in the art is anticipated. Ideally, the shoe targets 12 should be easy to see in any light and preferably should match the size or be slightly smaller than the ball target positions 16.

The positions for the shoe targets 12 as shown in FIG. 2, FIG. 2 and FIG. 4 can vary depending on the type of kick that is to be practiced and whether the foot is to impact the ball 14 with the inside 22 of the shoe or the outside 24 of the shoe or the top surface 26 of the shoe 11. At least one shoe target 12 is required when used in combination with the ball 14 with the ball targeting position 16 to practice eye contact with the ball 14 and shoe 11 during a strike by the user. However, the ball 14 by itself and without the shoe targets 12 may be employed if practice of eye contact is not desired but feedback of a proper strike is desired since the stripe 18 or other indica will provide validation or feedback of a proper kick trajectory and therefor proper contact.

When used in combination, the shoe targets 12 and ball targeting position 16 are employed and the user follows the chosen shoe target 12 throughout the kicking motion until it strikes the ball 14 on the chosen ball targeting position 16. This action is depicted in FIG. 4.

In FIGS. 5-10 there is shown the means for visual feedback of a correctly struck ball 14 which provides the user an immediate confirmation of a correctly struck ball 14. In the preferred mode of the device 10 whether used in combination with the shoe targets 12 or without, the means for visual feedback is provided by locating indica on the ball 14 in positions relative to the ball targeting position 16 such that visual feedback in the form of a change of color, or visual change of the indica, if the foot and ball contact was correct for the shot intended.

One preferred mode of the indica employs a dotted line 28 forming a stripe 18 which is placed circumferentially on the exterior of the ball 14 in line with the ball targeting position 16. With the ball 14 stationary and positioned with the stripe 18 perpendicular to the ground as in FIG. 4, the stripe 18 appears broken. If the ball is struck incorrectly by the foot and moves off at an angle, the stripe 18 will blur. However, if the player hits the ball 14 correctly on the ball target position 16, when the ball rolls, the dotted line 28 forming the stripe 18 will assume a solid line 29 look to the player. The player thus has immediate feedback of a correct strike without the need for a third party such as a coach attending. One or more dotted lines 28 may be employed placing them to form circumferential stripes 18 at appropriate positions on the ball to align with ball targeting positions 16. Or, if the player is especially advanced, the stripe 18 alone in dotted line 28 might be provided allowing the advance player practice striking the ball 14 at the exact point the stripe 18 crosses the side or bottom of the ball 14.

In another preferred mode of the device 10 shown in FIGS. 8-10, the stripe 18 may be formed of graphics of multiple colors such as half tones 30 shown in FIG. 9. In this mode of the device, the stripe 18 will change color to a third colored stripe 19 after a correct strike of the ball to roll it on the proper trajectory. In the kicking process similar to that shown in FIG. 4, subsequent to the ball being struck by the player, if properly struck, it will roll and the half tones 30 or other properly applied multi color indica will change color. For instance, this color change may be provided by applying the stripe 18 in a form of small dots such as the half tones 30 of FIG. 9 where the individual dots are formed of alternating colors in a width of the ultimate stripe 18. If the half tones 30 are of a first color 32 and second color 34 and appropriately positioned in the stripe 18, when correctly hit by the player, and the half tones 30 making up the stripe 18 move in a circular fashion, to the player the stripe will change color.

For instance, if the first color 32 is blue and the second color 34 is yellow, when the ball 14 spins away from the contact with the player's foot in a straight line and proper trajectory, the colors will combine and appear to the eye of the user to show a green stripe 18. This color change of indicia provides easy-to-view and immediate feedback of a proper strike of the ball 14 or an improper strike, since if the stripe 18 rolls off at an angle instead of circumferentially along the stripe 18, the color will not change. Of course other half tone styles or more than two colors of half tones 30 or other strategically placed colored indica as would occur to those skilled in the art may be employed to yield a color change on a proper departing ball trajectory. As such, any color change of indica on the ball 14 after a proper or improper strike, which provides visual feedback about the strike of the ball, as would occur to those skilled in the art are anticipated in the scope of this patent.

The method and components shown in the drawings and described in detail herein disclose arrangements of elements of particular construction, and configuration for illustrating preferred embodiments of structure of the presently disclosed device and method for practice of ball kicking. It is to be understood, however, that elements of different construction and configuration, and using different steps and process procedures, and other arrangements thereof, other than those illustrated and described, may be employed in accordance with the spirit of this invention.

As such, while the present invention has been described herein with reference to particular embodiments thereof, a latitude of modifications, various changes and substitutions are intended in the foregoing disclosure, and will be appreciated that in some instance some features of the invention could be employed without a corresponding use of other features, without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth in the following claims. All such changes, alternations and modifications as would occur to those skilled in the art are considered to be within the scope of this invention as broadly defined in the appended claims.

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