Title:
Kicker training device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A field training device for the development of the special characteristic required from a competitive kicker to inculcate and instill upon his mind the discipline of a sound professional, and more in particular, for attaining the special art form required to airborne a foot or soccer ball until the required objective is reached and the ball is put in flight for an extended period of in flight time or the typical hang time to maximum distances. The special training apparatus is designed for the enhancement of quality personnel possessing attributes demanded of this profession as well as the beginners at the early grade levels including schools, institutions for special educations and vocational training. The simplicity of the apparatus will invite the most demanding coaches at the international level to reap and capitalize from it benefits immediately. It consist of a base support, two contoured side supporting upright members and a soft flexible sponge rubber cross over member that will disengage from the apparatus whenever a kicker makes foot or other contact with it. The device, in its totality, has the most economically feasible applicability and probable profile of today's training devices. Production, marketing and purchasing will not set back grade, junior and high schools, including colleges and professional applications. The device is presently undergoing the most strenuous testing application and continues to surpass expected results.



Inventors:
Rowan, Taylor S. (Melbourne, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/803177
Publication Date:
11/20/2008
Filing Date:
05/14/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TAYLOR S. ROWAN (MELBOURNE, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A kicker training device comprising: A single base for supporting the training device on a surface; A left and right contoured uprights attached to the outer and forward ends of the single base frame; Said uprights, rising in a gradually curved radius until 90 degrees of angle is achieved; Said radius is curved to insure the center of the frame is reached and that said frame will balance in an upright position;

2. The kicker trainer of claim 1, wherein said uprights are attached to said frame for quick disassembly;

3. The kicker trainer of claim 1, wherein said uprights are tapered to receive a flared attachment continuing the uprights to a horizontal plane; A soft, flexible cross member is secured upon the 90 degree angles to form a crossbeam parallel the said main spar original base; The kicker trainer of claim 1: further the cross member is attached in such a way as to be easily dislodged when a minimum of pressure or trauma is applied; The kicker trainer of claim 1 further is completely made of a material that is lightweight The kicker trainer of claim 1 will easily be tipped forward so as to move out of the way of a player should a foot, a ball, or incidental contact be made. The kicker trainer of claim 1 has on the forward portion of the base tapered end so as to receive the flange end of uprights to form a continuous frame.

Description:

Priority is claimed to Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/799,725 filed May 11, 2006

I. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention is a portable, light weight apparatus that relates to the development of the football and soccer kicker and the associated equipment used in the process generally. But more in particular to a system and apparatuses for development of the art associated with kick-offs for football and goal kicks for soccer.

2. Description of Prior Art

The following US patents are sited. In U.S. Pat. No. 2,657,058 to Mulcahy a pitcher throwback device is disclosed that automatically returns a projected ball. In U.S. Pat. No. 5,513,843 to Russell, a football and soccer goal device and a kicking pad is disclosed, the goal made of pipe and netting and the pad made of a kicking tee within a holding rod for independent use without another person required to hold the ball. In U.S. Pat. No. 6,398,672 to Olson, a kicker training device is disclosed that measures the trajectory of balls kicked for a “field goal” or PAT. While these patents disclose a kick training device or toy, they do not disclose the elements of the present invention, including the compactness, portability or stated purpose of Kick off training. The present invention is designed to be engaged by projecting ones body over the device to simulate an actual kickoff, or goal kick. The other inventions are designed to measure the trajectory of the ball while the present embodiment is designed to measure the scope and direction of the leg swing itself. The present invention is designed to provide a barrier over which both ball and kicker must project themselves

II. SUMMARY OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to a training device to prepare athletes in the art of kicking by simulating the actual leg motion of a football kicker or any other sport where the kicking of a ball is a part of necessary essentials and mandatory formalities.

A strong, well placed kick can prove pivotal in any sport where the kicking of a ball is required. The ball is put into play after every touchdown and subsequent point after touchdown (pat) in American football, and after crossing the end line in Soccer. Accuracy, distance, and Hang time (the amount of time the ball is in the air) are of utmost importance. Since proper technique is critical, this training device allows kickers a means to, visualize, measure, quantify and achieve proper kicking technique.

In American Football, Kickoffs are an essential component in a teams eventual success in a game. In actual play, a kicker will kick a ball that is standing more or less upright with the aid of a device called a kicking tee. This device is designed to give a kicker as much access to the ball as possible. The goal of the kicker is to drive the ball as far as possible, with as much hang time as possible to allow his team the best possible advantage. This is accomplished not exclusively by long kicks. Occasionally, a coach will ask a kicker to place the ball in play by sending it to a specific yard marker with as much elevation as possible.

In Soccer, The goalie or other players are asked to place the ball in play by the means of a goal kick. This kick is designed to allow the kicking team as much advantage as possible by sending the ball deep into the opposing teams territory thus setting up scoring opportunities. Often elevation or hang time gives ones own team the advantage by allowing them to strategically position themselves to receive and then advance the ball to create scoring opportunities.

Proficiency in kickoffs and goal kicks is attained through hours of practice throughout the year. The ideal practice condition is to measure each kickoff and goal kick as to distance and hang time with a stop watch or similar means of timing. Distance and hang time are the direct product of both the force applied to a ball, and the direction in which that force is applied. Trajectory is a combination of vertical and horizontal force and angle between those combined perpendicular forces. The mathematical elements included within the physics of trajectory are horizontal force, vertical force and angle of trajectory. The trajectory and force applied to the ball is the best indicator as to the actual hang time and distance that will be achieved. Since it is often unfeasible to assign a coach or player to the sole training of a kicker, these measurements must be taken and accessed by the kicker him/her self.

There is therefore a need for a kicker training device that will allow the kicker to practice the correct motion over and over without variation. Fatigue is a strong impediment to correct kicking technique. Fatigued players have a tendency to become sloppy and not to follow through as necessary. The Kicker training device will insure, with tangible consequences that every kick is within acceptable parameters.

The present invention constitutes a new and novel method for achieving this correct kicking form. A search of the various patents bearing similar names found none that approximated or parallel the stated purpose, or the actual design of this new device.

III. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows top view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows a top view with the soft cross member installed.

FIG. 3 shows an end view of the preferred embodiment of the present invention

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

With reference to FIG. 1. Main spar 14 is connected on each end by a slip fitting to a 90 degree elbow 12. A contoured vertical upright 10 is permanently attached perpendicular to the main spar 14. The contoured vertical upright is capped by an end tube cap 18.

With reference to FIG. 2. A top view of the present embodiment with the Soft cross member 16 in place fitted to the contoured vertical uprights 10 forming the completed appaterus.

With reference to FIG. 3. An end view of the present embodiment. 90 degree elbow 12 is permanently attached to the contoured vertical upright 14 connected to the end tube cap 18. The soft cross member 16 is shown fitted to the top side of the contoured vertical uprights 14 over the end tube caps 18

From the description above, a number advantages of the kicker trainer become evident.

    • (a) The 90 degree elbows 12 are held to main spar 14 by a slip connection allowing complete disassembly of contrivance for easy storage and transportation.
    • (b) The soft cross member 16 is slip fitted to contoured vertical uprights 14 allowing the soft cross member 16 to easily detach should either the ball or foot come in contact while in the act of kicking, preventing injury.
    • (c The contoured vertical uprights 14 allow the device to rock forward and out of the way in case of incidental contact while in the act of kicking.
    • (d) Compact design insures minimum interference with kicking motion.
    • (e) Simple design and universal components insures that apparatus manufactured from a variety of materials to include but not limited to aluminum, rubber, p.v.c. Or wood.
    • (f) Cross member 16 can be manufactured from a variety of materials including but not limited to Styrofoam, rubber, or other soft flexible material.

Operation

The manner of using the kicker trainer is as follows. Contoured vertical uprights 14 are placed parallel and main spar 12 is inserted into the 90 degree elbows 12 forming a semi rigid frame.

Cross member 16 is placed over the contoured vertical uprights 14 by means of cutouts.

Apparatus is placed on desired kicking surface. Football kicking tee or soccer ball is placed on the ground in front of the kicker trainer main spar 14 at the predetermined distance to achieve the desired trajectory.

Kicking the ball, the kicker attempts to “clear” the top cross member 16 by kicking the ball in an up and thru motion. Neither the Ball or the kickers leg should come in contact with the cross member 16 thus indicating that proper kick form was achieved.

Should either the ball or the kickers leg or foot come into contact with the soft cross member 16, the cross member 16 will “spring-away” and the entire apparatus will tip away from the kicker minimizing the chance of injury due to contact with the apparatus.

Apparatus is easily reassembled, reset and the kicker is free to try again for the desired result.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a football training device that eliminates the need for an additional player or coach to time, measure, and critique each kick.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a visual and actual barrier that requires the balls trajectory to clear certain predetermined angles as determined by the kicker him/her self.

It is still another objective that the device not provide injury to the kicker, The device is designed that should the kicker NOT achieve the desired trajectory or leg swing, that the top portion of the device will easily “spring free” and allow both the ball and the leg to freely swing and not result in a ball ricocheting back into the kicker.

It is still a further objective to be balanced so as to fall away from the kicker and to follow the direction of both ball and momentum so as to provide minimum resistance. Further, said cross member is made of soft, collapsible, lightweight material that provides minimal chance of impact injury.

It is still another objective that this device can be used both with and without an actual ball to develop the proper leg swing.

It is still another objective to allow the kickers a way to measure the relationship of their plant foot to the kicking tee. Since this relationship is critical to proper form, this is an important further objective.

Of course, various changes, modifications and alterations in the teachings of the present invention may be contemplated by those skilled in the art without departing from the intended spirit and scope thereof.

As such, it is intended that the present invention only be limited by the terms of the appended claims.