Title:
Baseball batting instruction system and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A batting instruction system is disclosed. The system includes an indicator assembly having a plurality of indicators disposed thereon. Each of the plurality of indicators corresponds to a motion of a pitcher prior to the pitcher delivering a pitched ball. A method of teaching batting with the system is also disclosed.



Inventors:
Smull, Joseph (Orefield, PA, US)
Application Number:
12/082053
Publication Date:
11/20/2008
Filing Date:
04/08/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
434/247, 473/451
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KLAYMAN, AMIR ARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Joseph E. Maenner (King of Prussia, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A batting instruction system comprising an indicator assembly having a plurality of indicators disposed thereon, wherein each of the plurality of indicators corresponds to a motion of a pitcher prior to the pitcher delivering a pitched ball.

2. The batting instruction system according to claim 1, wherein the plurality of indicators comprises a plurality of lights.

3. The batting instruction system according to claim 2, wherein each of the plurality of lights is a different color from an adjacent of the plurality of lights.

4. The batting instruction system according to claim 1, further comprising a timer electrically coupled to each of the plurality of indicators, wherein the timer is adjustable to adjust a time of operation of each of the plurality of indicators.

5. The batting instruction system according to claim 1, further comprising a pitching machine operatively coupled to the plurality of indicators.

6. The batting instruction system according to claim 1, wherein the plurality of indicators comprises a first indicator and a last indicator, wherein the first indicator corresponds to the motion of the pitcher starting a pitching motion.

7. The batting instruction system according to claim 6, wherein the last indicator corresponds to the motion of the pitcher releasing the pitched ball.

8. The batting instruction system according to claim 1, further comprising a pitcher simulator that displays the motion of the pitcher as the pitcher delivers the pitched ball.

9. A method of instructing a batter comprising: providing an indicator assembly having a plurality of indicators disposed thereon; operating each of the plurality of indicators in an indicator sequence; and coordinating a motion of a batter in a batter sequence corresponding to the indicator sequence.

10. The method according to claim 9, wherein operating each of the plurality of indicators in the indicator sequence comprises simulating a motion of a pitcher prior to the pitcher delivering a pitched ball.

11. The method according to claim 10, wherein coordinating the motion of the batter in the batter sequence comprises starting the motion of the batter upon operation of a first of the plurality of indicators.

12. The method according to claim 10, wherein operating each of the plurality of indicators in the indicator sequence comprises operating a first of the plurality of indicators to indicate a motion of a pitcher starting a pitching motion.

13. The method according to claim 9, further comprising adjusting a time between operation of each of the plurality of indicators.

14. A batting instruction system comprising an indicator assembly having a plurality of indicator lights disposed thereon, wherein a first indicator light of the plurality of indicator lights corresponds to a motion of a pitcher beginning a pitching motion and a last indicator light of the plurality of indicator lights corresponds to the motion of the pitcher prior to the pitcher delivering a pitched ball.

15. The batting instruction system according to claim 14, further comprising a pitching machine operatively coupled to the indicator assembly.

16. The batting instruction system according to claim 15, wherein the pitching machine is configured to pitch a ball upon activation of the last indicator light.

17. The batting instruction system according to claim 14, further comprising a pitcher simulator that displays the motion of the pitcher as the pitcher delivers the pitched ball.

18. A method of instructing a batter comprising: providing an indicator light assembly having a plurality of indicator lights disposed thereon; operating each of the plurality of indicator lights in an indicator light sequence, wherein the indicator light sequence represents motion of a pitcher prior to delivering a pitched ball; and coordinating a motion of a batter in a batter sequence corresponding to the indicator light sequence, wherein the batter begins the motion upon operation of a first of the plurality of indicator lights.

19. The method according to claim 18, further comprising delivering a ball to the batter from a pitching machine upon operation of a last of the plurality of indicator lights.

20. The method according to claim 18, further comprising displaying a video of the pitcher pitching the ball in sequence with operating each of the plurality of lights.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

The present application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/922,661, filed on Apr. 9, 2007.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a baseball batting instruction system that uses a series of lights to indicate positions of a pitcher as the pitcher delivers a pitched ball, and sequence of moves that a batter performs in correlation with the lights.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Pitching machines are well known to instruct a batter how to hit a pitched ball. Some pitching machines incorporate a video of a pitcher going through pitching motions prior to the pitching machine delivering the pitched ball to the batter. It would be beneficial, however, to provide a system and a method for instructing the batter to initiate and perform his hitting motion with respect to different positions of the pitcher prior to the pitcher pitching the ball.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly, the present invention provides a batting instruction system comprising an indicator assembly having a plurality of indicators disposed thereon, wherein each of the plurality of indicators corresponds to a motion of a pitcher prior to the pitcher delivering a pitched ball.

The present invention also includes a method of instructing a batter comprising providing an indicator assembly having a plurality of indicators disposed thereon; operating each of the plurality of indicators in an indicator sequence; and coordinating a motion of a batter in a batter sequence corresponding to the indicator sequence.

The present invention further provides a batting instruction system comprising an indicator assembly having a plurality of indicator lights disposed thereon. A first indicator light of the plurality of indicator lights corresponds to a motion of a pitcher beginning a pitching motion and a last indicator light of the plurality of indicator lights corresponds to the motion of the pitcher prior to the pitcher delivering a pitched ball.

Also, the present invention provides a method of instructing a batter comprising providing an indicator light assembly having a plurality of indicator lights disposed thereon; operating each of the plurality of indicator lights in an indicator light sequence, wherein the indicator light sequence represents motion of a pitcher prior to delivering a pitched ball; and coordinating a motion of a batter in a batter sequence corresponding to the indicator light sequence, wherein the batter begins the motion upon operation of a first of the plurality of indicator lights.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated herein and constitute part of this specification, illustrate the presently preferred embodiments of the invention, and, together with the general description given above and the detailed description given below, serve to explain features of the invention. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing movement of a batter in relation to a first light and a corresponding pitcher position according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing movement of the batter in relation to a second light and a corresponding pitcher position according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing movement of the batter in relation to a third light and a corresponding pitcher position according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing movement of the batter in relation to a fourth light and a corresponding pitcher position according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a flow chart displaying steps used to perform the method of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Certain terminology is used in the following description for convenience only and is not limiting. The terminology includes the words above specifically mentioned, derivatives thereof and words of similar import. The embodiments illustrated below are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. These embodiments are chosen and described to best explain the principle of the invention and its application and practical use and to enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention.

A batting instruction system 100 and method according to a desired embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 1-4. Batting instruction system 100 includes a stand 102 on which is mounted an indicator assembly 110 having a plurality of indicators 112, 114, 116, 118 disposed there on. Each of the plurality of indicators 112, 114, 116, 118 corresponds to a motion of a pitcher 200 prior to pitcher 200 pitching a ball 210.

In the present embodiment, the plurality of indicators 112, 114, 116, 118 are a plurality of colored lights, such that each of the plurality colored lights is a different color from an adjacent of the plurality of colored lights. In the present embodiment, indicator 112 is a blue light; indicator 114 is a red light; indicator 116 is a yellow light; and indicator 118 is a green light. Those skilled in the art, however, will recognize that alternative colors and/or configurations may be used.

While an embodiment of indicators 112, 114, 116, 118 is a plurality of lights, those skilled in the art will recognize that other indicators, such as sounds, may be used. Indicator assembly 110 may be powered by battery, 120 volt AC power, solar power, or any other suitable power source.

System 100 also includes a timer 120 electrically coupled to indicator assembly 110 to sequentially operate indicators 112, 114, 116, 118 in a desired sequence of blue, red, yellow, and green lights. Timer 120 is adjustable to adjust a time of operation of each of the plurality of indicators 112, 114, 116, 118.

A batter 300 uses system 100 to learn how to begin the motion of a batting swing based on the pitching motion of a pitcher 200. Indicators 112, 114, 116, 118 all correspond to different positions in pitcher's 200 body during delivery of ball 210. Batter 200 moves his body into different positions based on illumination of indicators 112, 114, 116, 118.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 5, indicator 112 is the first indicator to be illuminated in step 502. Indicator 112 corresponds to pitcher 200 starting his pitching motion. When indicator 112 is illuminated, batter 300 is in a state of inertia, with both feet 302, 304 on the ground 310, awaiting the next motion of pitcher 200.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 5, indicator 112 turns off and indicator 114 is the second indicator to be illuminated in step 504. Indicator 114 corresponds to pitcher 200 completing his backward coiled position toward second base (not shown). Batter 300 responds by lifting his forward foot 302 off ground 310, shifting his weight onto his rear foot 304, and moving his hands 306 back, loading his energy to swing bat 308.

As shown in FIGS. 3 and 5, indicator 114 turns off and indicator 116 is the third indicator to be illuminated in step 506. Indicator 116 corresponds to pitcher 200 being approximately halfway through his forward arm 202 acceleration. Batter 300 responds by tracking ball 210 at that point and strides forward with lead foot 302, but keeping hands 306 and weight on rear foot 304 in the energy loading position.

As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, indicator 116 turns off and indicator 118 is the fourth indicator to be illuminated in step 508. Indicator 118 corresponds to pitcher 200 releasing ball 210. Batter 300 responds by placing the ball of lead foot 302 onto ground 310 and preparing to decide whether to swing at ball 210.

In an embodiment shown in FIG. 6, pitcher 200 may be displayed on a video screen 220 facing batter 300 so that batter 300 can see pitcher 200 and indicator assembly 110 simultaneously. In this configuration, batter 300 can correlate pitching motion of pitcher 200 with illumination of indicators 112, 114, 116, 118. Further, a pitching machine 222 may be operatively coupled to indicator assembly 110 such that ball 210 is pitched from pitching machine 222 to correlate with illumination of fourth indicator 118 in step 512. Pitching machine 222 may be aligned with video to give the appearance of ball 210 leaving pitcher's pitching hand 202 as ball 210 is pitched from pitching machine 222.

Timer 120 may be adjusted in step 514 of FIG. 5 to adjust a time between operation of each of indicators 112, 114, 116, 118.

It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes could be made to the embodiments described above without departing from the broad inventive concept thereof. It is understood, therefore, that this invention is not limited to the particular embodiments disclosed, but it is intended to cover modifications within the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.