Title:
Angled hitting stand apparatus and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An angled hitting stand apparatus for training users to hit baseballs or softballs. Telescoping elongated members, e.g., posts, cylindrical tubes, or solid rods, provide support for the ball and are adjustable for accommodating the height and arm length of a user. The elongated members can be pivoted, i.e., moved back and forth, for arm or hand dominance, e.g., right-handed, left-handed, or ambidextrous hitters, to at various angles. The elongated members or posts are secured to an adapter, e.g., a cylindrical, pre-cut housing, that fits into a cap. The cap is secured to a base which is capable of supporting the apparatus. The angled presentation of the ball on the apparatus provides a proper swinging condition to the user by ergonomically encouraging the user to be properly disposed in relation to a swing slot region in order to make a correct swing without casting the user's hands during the swing.



Inventors:
Lincoln, Larry Lane (Oak Park, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/004220
Publication Date:
01/29/2009
Filing Date:
12/18/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
29/525.02, 434/247, 473/422
International Classes:
A63B69/22
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070254751A Practice BatNovember, 2007Wilson
20030186762Introduced in tennis racketOctober, 2003Silva
20070015615Ball surface structureJanuary, 2007Yang
20050096144Line-of-sight putters and methodsMay, 2005Bullock
20080254925AERODYNAMICALLY AND STRUCTURALLY SUPERIOR, FIXED-BLADE HUNTING ARROWHEADOctober, 2008Odabachian et al.
20100093457Golf glove and grip providing for power and club parametrics signal transfer obtained in real-timeApril, 2010Ahern et al.
20050209014Portable golf practicing apparatusSeptember, 2005Kim
20100022319Golf training device and method thereofJanuary, 2010Scaperotti
20090270204METHOD FOR GOLF CLUB SELECTION, AND GOLF CLUBOctober, 2009Saegusa et al.
20070099730Football teaching system and methodMay, 2007Driver
20030139223Wrap style hand gripJuly, 2003Ulrich et al.



Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Daniel M. Cislo (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. An angled hitting stand apparatus for training a user, comprising: a base having a tap hole for accommodating at least one fastening element; a cap having a seating feature and having at least one tap hole for accommodating at least one fastening element; a lower elongated member having proximal and distal ends and at least one tap hole for accommodating at least one fastening element; an upper elongated member having proximal and distal ends, the upper elongated member proximal end being in telescoping relation with the lower elongated member distal end for accommodating a plurality of user heights, the upper elongated member distal end having a ball-receiving portion, the ball-receiving portion comprising at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of an angled cut-away, a beveled cut-way, and a beveled edge; and an angling adapter, having proximal and distal ends, for accommodating the lower elongated member proximal end, the angling adapter being in rotatable relation to the seating feature for accommodating at least one user parameter selected from a group consisting essentially of a plurality of user heights, a plurality of user arm-lengths, and a plurality of user arm-dominances, the adapter having at least one recessed portion for facilitating angling of the apparatus in relation to the user and having at least one tap hole for accommodating at least one fastening element, whereby the apparatus facilitates correct physical mechanics by ergonomically encouraging hitting from a swing slot region during a swing employed by the user.

2. An apparatus, as recited in claim 1, wherein the base comprises at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of: at least one material selected from a group consisting essentially of a rubber, a plastic, a composite material, and any other material that is shock-absorbent, supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable; at least one configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a square shape, a circular shape, a rectangular shape, a triangular shape, and any other polygonal shape that is capable of supporting the apparatus; a plan-form area in a range of approximately 14 in2 to approximately 18 in2; a weight in a range of approximately 6 lbs to approximately 8 lbs; a tap hole, having an upper side and an underside, disposed at a central location of the base, the base having a top and a bottom; a seat formed in the base bottom; at least one configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a square shape, pentagon shape, and a hexagon shape for facilitating securing the at least one fastening element at the tap hole; and the at least one fastening element for the base comprising at least one element selected from a group consisting essentially of a bolt, a washer, a locking washer, and a nut.

3. An apparatus, as recited in claim 1, wherein the cap comprises at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of: at least one configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a square shape, pentagon shape, and a hexagon shape; at least one material selected from a group consisting essentially of a rubber, a plastic, a composite material, and any other material that is shock-absorbent, supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable; a thickness in a range of approximately ¼″ to approximately 1″; a height in a range of approximately 2″ to approximately 3″; a diameter in a range of approximately 4″ to approximately 5″; a tap hole disposed at the center of the cap for accommodating at least one fastening element; and the at least one fastening element for the cap comprising at least one element selected from a group consisting essentially of a bolt, a washer, a locking washer, and a nut.

4. An apparatus, as recited in claim 1, wherein the adapter comprises at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of: a configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a cylindrical shape and a tubular shape; at least one material selected from a group consisting essentially of a rubber, a plastic, a composite material, and any other material that is shock-absorbent, supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable; a height in a range of approximately 5″ to approximately 6″; a diameter of approximately 3½″; a thickness of approximately ½″; at least one tap hole formed at a disposition that is approximately 2½″ from the adapter proximal end; the at least one recessed portion formed at a disposition of approximately 1¾″ to approximately 3″ from the adapter distal end for accommodating an outer dimension of the lower elongated member, the adapter vertically fitting into the cap with the at least one recessed portion being exposed above the seating feature; the adapter allowing rotation of the lower and upper elongated members to either side as well as back and forth without impingement; the rotation being at an angle in a range of approximately 38 degrees to approximately 42 degrees; the adapter being thicker at its distal end for facilitating height adjustment of, and maintaining the position of, the lower elongated member; the at least one fastening element for the adapter comprising a length of approximately 4″ to approximately 5″ long; the at least one fastening element for the adapter comprising an element selected from a group consisting essentially of a bolt, a washer, a locking washer, and a nut; and the at least one fastening element for the adapter being passed through a sleeve.

5. An apparatus, as recited in claim 1, wherein the lower elongated member comprises at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of: at least one configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a cylindrically-shaped hollow tube and a solid rod; at least one material selected from a group consisting essentially of a rubber, a plastic, a composite material, and any other material that is shock-absorbent, supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable; a length in a range of approximately 18″ to approximately 22″ long; a diameter of approximately 2″, a thickness in a range of approximately 3/16″ to approximately 5/16″; and the at least one tap hole of the lower elongated member being approximately ½″ as measured from the lower elongated member proximal end for facilitating registration with the at least one tap hole of the adapter.

6. An apparatus, as recited in claim 1, wherein the upper elongated member comprises at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of: at least one configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a cylindrically-shaped hollow tube and a solid rod; at least one material selected from a group consisting essentially of a rubber, a plastic, a composite material, and any other material that is shock-absorbent, supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable; a length of approximately 16″ to approximately 24″ long, a diameter of approximately 1½″; the upper elongated member distal end being cut diagonally at an angle in a range of approximately from 38 to approximately 42 degrees; a tip of the upper elongated member distal end being beveled to allow for the placement of at least one type of ball selected from a group consisting essentially of such as a baseball and a softball; the upper elongated member telescoping into the lower elongated member; the upper elongated member distal end comprising at least one interference-fit structure; the at least one interference-fit structure comprising at least one element selected from a group consisting essentially of a external knurling and an outer diameter of the upper elongated member proximal end being greater than an inner diameter of the lower elongated member distal end for facilitating height adjustment of the upper elongated member in the lower elongated member; and the ball-receiving portion facilitating shifting of a center of gravity of a ball that is placed thereon at an angle of approximately 38 to approximately 42 degrees.

7. An apparatus, as recited in claim 1, wherein the base comprises at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of: at least one material selected from a group consisting essentially of a rubber, a plastic, a composite material, and any other material that is shock-absorbent, supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable; at least one configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a square shape, a circular shape, a rectangular shape, a triangular shape, and any other polygonal shape that is capable of supporting the apparatus; a tap hole, having an upper side and an underside, disposed at a central location of the base, the base having a top and a bottom; a seat formed in the base bottom; at least one configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a square shape, pentagon shape, and a hexagon shape for facilitating securing the at least one fastening element at the tap hole; and the at least one fastening element for the base comprising at least one element selected from a group consisting essentially of a bolt, a washer, a locking washer, and a nut, wherein the cap comprises at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of: at least one configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a square shape, pentagon shape, and a hexagon shape; at least one material selected from a group consisting essentially of a rubber, a plastic, a composite material, and any other material that is shock-absorbent, supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable; a tap hole disposed at the center of the cap for accommodating at least one fastening element; and the at least one fastening element for the cap comprising at least one element selected from a group consisting essentially of a bolt, a washer, a locking washer, and a nut, wherein the adapter comprises at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of: a configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a cylindrical shape and a tubular shape; at least one material selected from a group consisting essentially of a rubber, a plastic, a composite material, and any other material that is shock-absorbent, supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable; at least one tap hole formed at a disposition that is approximately 2½″ from the adapter proximal end; the at least one recessed portion formed at a disposition away from the adapter distal end for accommodating an outer dimension of the lower elongated member, the adapter vertically fitting into the cap with the at least one recessed portion being exposed above the seating feature; the adapter allowing rotation of the lower and upper elongated members to either side as well as back and forth without impingement; the adapter being thicker at its distal end for facilitating height adjustment of, and maintaining the position of, the lower elongated member; the at least one fastening element for the adapter comprising an element selected from a group consisting essentially of a bolt, a washer, a locking washer, and a nut; and the at least one fastening element for the adapter being passed through a sleeve, wherein the lower elongated member comprises at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of: at least one configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a cylindrically-shaped hollow tube and a solid rod; at least one material selected from a group consisting essentially of a rubber, a plastic, a composite material, and any other material that is shock-absorbent, supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable; the at least one tap hole of the lower elongated member for facilitating registration with the at least one tap hole of the adapter, wherein the upper elongated member comprises at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of: at least one configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a cylindrically-shaped hollow tube and a solid rod; at least one material selected from a group consisting essentially of a rubber, a plastic, a composite material, and any other material that is shock-absorbent, supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable; the upper elongated member distal end being cut diagonally; a tip of the upper elongated member distal end being beveled to allow for the placement of at least one type of ball selected from a group consisting essentially of such as a baseball and a softball; the upper elongated member telescoping into the lower elongated member; the upper elongated member distal end comprising at least one interference-fit structure; the at least one interference-fit structure comprising at least one element selected from a group consisting essentially of a external knurling and an outer diameter of the upper elongated member proximal end being greater than an inner diameter of the lower elongated member distal end for facilitating height adjustment of the upper elongated member in the lower elongated member; and the ball-receiving portion facilitating shifting of a center of gravity of a ball that is placed thereon at an angle.

8. A method of fabricating an angled hitting stand apparatus for training a user, comprising the steps of: providing a base having a tap hole for accommodating at least one fastening element; providing a cap having a seating feature and having at least one tap hole for accommodating at least one fastening element; providing a lower elongated member having proximal and distal ends and at least one tap hole for accommodating at least one fastening element; providing an upper elongated member having proximal and distal ends, the upper elongated member proximal end being in telescoping relation with the lower elongated member distal end for accommodating a plurality of user heights, the upper elongated member distal end having a ball-receiving portion, the ball-receiving portion comprising at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of an angled cut-away, a beveled cut-way, and a beveled edge; and providing an angling adapter, having proximal and distal ends, for accommodating the lower elongated member proximal end, the angling adapter being in rotatable relation to the seating feature for accommodating at least one user parameter selected from a group consisting essentially of a plurality of user heights, a plurality of user arm-lengths, and a plurality of user arm-dominances, the adapter having at least one recessed portion for facilitating angling of the apparatus in relation to the user and having at least one tap hole for accommodating at least one fastening element, thereby fabricating the apparatus for facilitating correct physical mechanics by ergonomically encouraging hitting from a swing slot region during a swing employed by the user.

9. A method, as recited in claim 8, wherein the base providing step comprises providing at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of: at least one material selected from a group consisting essentially of a rubber, a plastic, a composite material, and any other material that is shock-absorbent, supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable; at least one configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a square shape, a circular shape, a rectangular shape, a triangular shape, and any other polygonal shape that is capable of supporting the apparatus; a plan-form area in a range of approximately 14 in2 to approximately 18 in2; a weight in a range of approximately 6 lbs to approximately 8 lbs; a tap hole, having an upper side and an underside, disposed at a central location of the base, the base having a top and a bottom; a seat formed in the base bottom; at least one configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a square shape, pentagon shape, and a hexagon shape for facilitating securing the at least one fastening element at the tap hole; and the at least one fastening element for the base comprising at least one element selected from a group consisting essentially of a bolt, a washer, a locking washer, and a nut.

10. A method, as recited in claim 8, wherein the cap providing step comprises providing at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of: at least one configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a square shape, pentagon shape, and a hexagon shape; at least one material selected from a group consisting essentially of a rubber, a plastic, a composite material, and any other material that is shock-absorbent, supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable; a thickness in a range of approximately ¼″ to approximately 1″; a height in a range of approximately 2″ to approximately 3″; a diameter in a range of approximately 4″ to approximately 5″; a tap hole disposed at the center of the cap for accommodating at least one fastening element; and the at least one fastening element for the cap comprising at least one element selected from a group consisting essentially of a bolt, a washer, a locking washer, and a nut.

11. A method, as recited in claim 8, wherein the angling adapter providing step comprises providing at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of: a configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a cylindrical shape and a tubular shape; at least one material selected from a group consisting essentially of a rubber, a plastic, a composite material, and any other material that is shock-absorbent, supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable; a height in a range of approximately 5″ to approximately 6″; a diameter of approximately 3½″; a thickness of approximately ½″; at least one tap hole formed at a disposition that is approximately 2½″ from the adapter proximal end; the at least one recessed portion formed at a disposition of approximately 1¾″ to approximately 3″ from the adapter distal end for accommodating an outer dimension of the lower elongated member, the adapter vertically fitting into the cap with the at least one recessed portion being exposed above the seating feature; the adapter allowing rotation of the lower and upper elongated members to either side as well as back and forth without impingement; the rotation being at an angle in a range of approximately 38 degrees to approximately 42 degrees; the adapter being thicker at its distal end for facilitating height adjustment of, and maintaining the position of, the lower elongated member; the at least one fastening element for the adapter comprising a length of approximately 4″ to approximately 5″ long; the at least one fastening element for the adapter comprising an element selected from a group consisting essentially of a bolt, a washer, a locking washer, and a nut; and the at least one fastening element for the adapter being passed through a sleeve.

12. A method, as recited in claim 8, wherein the lower elongated member providing step comprises providing at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of: at least one configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a cylindrically-shaped hollow tube and a solid rod; at least one material selected from a group consisting essentially of a rubber, a plastic, a composite material, and any other material that is shock-absorbent, supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable; a length in a range of approximately 18″ to approximately 22″ long; a diameter of approximately 2″, a thickness in a range of approximately 3/16″ to approximately 5/16″; and the at least one tap hole of the lower elongated member being approximately 1½″ as measured from the lower elongated member proximal end for facilitating registration with the at least one tap hole of the adapter.

13. A method, as recited in claim 8, wherein the upper elongated member providing step comprises providing at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of: at least one configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a cylindrically-shaped hollow tube and a solid rod; at least one material selected from a group consisting essentially of a rubber, a plastic, a composite material, and any other material that is shock-absorbent, supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable; a length of approximately 16″ to approximately 24″ long, a diameter of approximately 1½″; the upper elongated member distal end being cut diagonally at an angle in a range of approximately from 38 to approximately 42 degrees; a tip of the upper elongated member distal end being beveled to allow for the placement of at least one type of ball selected from a group consisting essentially of such as a baseball and a softball; the upper elongated member telescoping into the lower elongated member; the upper elongated member distal end comprising at least one interference-fit structure; the at least one interference-fit structure comprising at least one element selected from a group consisting essentially of a external knurling and an outer diameter of the upper elongated member proximal end being greater than an inner diameter of the lower elongated member distal end for facilitating height adjustment of the upper elongated member in the lower elongated member; and the ball-receiving portion facilitating shifting of a center of gravity of a ball that is placed thereon at an angle of approximately 38 to approximately 42 degrees.

14. A method, as recited in claim 8, wherein the base providing step comprises providing at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of: at least one material selected from a group consisting essentially of a rubber, a plastic, a composite material, and any other material that is shock-absorbent, supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable; at least one configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a square shape, a circular shape, a rectangular shape, a triangular shape, and any other polygonal shape that is capable of supporting the apparatus; a tap hole, having an upper side and an underside, disposed at a central location of the base, the base having a top and a bottom; a seat formed in the base bottom; at least one configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a square shape, pentagon shape, and a hexagon shape for facilitating securing the at least one fastening element at the tap hole; and the at least one fastening element for the base comprising at least one element selected from a group consisting essentially of a bolt, a washer, a locking washer, and a nut, wherein the cap providing step comprises providing at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of: at least one configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a square shape, pentagon shape, and a hexagon shape; at least one material selected from a group consisting essentially of a rubber, a plastic, a composite material, and any other material that is shock-absorbent, supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable; a tap hole disposed at the center of the cap for accommodating at least one fastening element; and the at least one fastening element for the cap comprising at least one element selected from a group consisting essentially of a bolt, a washer, a locking washer, and a nut, wherein the angling adapter providing step comprises providing at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of: a configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a cylindrical shape and a tubular shape; at least one material selected from a group consisting essentially of a rubber, a plastic, a composite material, and any other material that is shock-absorbent, supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable; at least one tap hole formed at a disposition that is approximately 2½″ from the adapter proximal end; the at least one recessed portion formed at a disposition away from the adapter distal end for accommodating an outer dimension of the lower elongated member, the adapter vertically fitting into the cap with the at least one recessed portion being exposed above the seating feature; the adapter allowing rotation of the lower and upper elongated members to either side as well as back and forth without impingement; the adapter being thicker at its distal end for facilitating height adjustment of, and maintaining the position of, the lower elongated member; the at least one fastening element for the adapter comprising an element selected from a group consisting essentially of a bolt, a washer, a locking washer, and a nut; and the at least one fastening element for the adapter being passed through a sleeve, wherein the lower elongated member providing step comprises providing at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of: at least one configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a cylindrically-shaped hollow tube and a solid rod; at least one material selected from a group consisting essentially of a rubber, a plastic, a composite material, and any other material that is shock-absorbent, supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable; the at least one tap hole of the lower elongated member for facilitating registration with the at least one tap hole of the adapter, wherein the upper elongated member providing step comprises providing at least one feature selected from a group consisting essentially of: at least one configuration selected from a group consisting essentially of a cylindrically-shaped hollow tube and a solid rod; at least one material selected from a group consisting essentially of a rubber, a plastic, a composite material, and any other material that is shock-absorbent, supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable; the upper elongated member distal end being cut diagonally; a tip of the upper elongated member distal end being beveled to allow for the placement of at least one type of ball selected from a group consisting essentially of such as a baseball and a softball; the upper elongated member telescoping into the lower elongated member; the upper elongated member distal end comprising at least one interference-fit structure; the at least one interference-fit structure comprising at least one element selected from a group consisting essentially of a external knurling and an outer diameter of the upper elongated member proximal end being greater than an inner diameter of the lower elongated member distal end for facilitating height adjustment of the upper elongated member in the lower elongated member; and the ball-receiving portion facilitating shifting of a center of gravity of a ball that is placed thereon at an angle.

15. A method of training a user by way of an angled hitting stand apparatus, the method comprising the steps of: providing an angled hitting stand apparatus; placing a ball in a ball-receiving portion of the apparatus, thereby presenting the ball at an angle, and thereby providing a proper swinging condition to the user; properly swinging a bat at the ball by the user, thereby moving a trailing arm into a swing slot region, the swing slot region being disposed between a user's midsection and the bat.

16. A method, as recited in claim 15, further comprising the step of striding toward the ball with a leading foot of the user.

17. A method, as recited in claim 15, further comprising the step of opening a leading hip of the user.

18. A method, as recited in claim 15, further comprising the step of pulling a knob of the bat toward the ball.

19. A method, as recited in claim 15, further comprising the step of holding a leading arm across the front of the user's body.

20. A method, as recited in claim 15, further comprising the step of bending a trailing arm of the user and maintaining it proximate a midsection of the user.

21. A method, as recited in claim 15, further comprising the step of bending an elbow of the user at an angle.

22. A method, as recited in claim 15, wherein the ball-presenting angle is in a range of approximately 38 degrees to approximately 42 degrees.

23. A method, as recited in claim 15, wherein the elbow bending angle is approximately 45 degrees.

24. A method, as recited in claim 15, further comprising the steps of: striding toward the ball with a leading foot of the user; opening a leading hip of the user; pulling a knob of the bat toward the ball; holding a leading arm across the front of the user's body; bending a trailing arm of the user and maintaining it proximate a midsection of the user; and bending an elbow of the user at an angle, wherein the ball-presenting angle is in a range of approximately 38 degrees to approximately 42 degrees, and wherein the elbow bending angle is approximately 45 degrees.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)

This document is a non-provisional patent application which is related to, and claims priority from, U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/951,654, entitled “Angled Hitting Stand,” filed on Jul. 24, 2007, the subject matter of which is hereby incorporated in its entirety by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention technically relates to apparatuses and methods for facilitating ball-hitting practice. More particularly, the present invention technically relates to apparatuses and methods for facilitating batting practice. Even more particularly, the present invention technically relates to systems and methods for apparatuses and methods for facilitating batting practice with respect to a plurality of user heights, user arm lengths, and user arm or hand dominances.

BACKGROUND ART

The currently existing related art involves several apparatuses and methods for facilitating ball-hitting practice. Most conventionally, standard batting tees have a baseball or softball placed on top of a static vertical post. This related art arrangement is insufficiently ergonomic and, thus, does not promote rapid improvement of a user's game.

One such related art batter swing-training apparatus includes a ground frame section with a forward restraint and a ball tee. Another apparatus is a batting tee in which the mount for the ball is disposed lower than the other components for providing a level swing. Several other related art apparatuses involve a set of predetermined lines shown on a base.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a solution to the foregoing problems in an apparatus and corresponding methods for facilitating hitting practice with respect to a plurality of user heights, user arm lengths, and user arm dominances. The present invention angled hitting stand apparatus generally involves an operative combination of the following elements: a base having a tap hole for accommodating at least one fastening element; a cap having a seating feature and having at least one tap hole for correspondingly accommodating the at least one other fastening element; a lower elongated member having proximal and distal ends and at least one tap hole; an upper elongated member having proximal and distal ends, the upper elongated member proximal end being in telescoping relation with the lower elongated member distal end for accommodating a height of a user, the upper elongated member distal end having a ball-receiving portion, the ball-receiving portion comprising at least one feature, such as an angled cut-away and a beveled cut-away; an angling adapter for accommodating the lower elongated member proximal end, the angling adapter being in rotatable relation to the seating feature for accommodating an arm-length and arm-dominance of the user, the adapter having at least one recessed portion for facilitating angling of the apparatus in relation to the user and having at least one tap hole for accommodating at least one fastening element, in accordance with the present invention. The foregoing elements are operatively related in a manner which facilitates correct physical mechanics, i.e., ergonomically encouraging hitting from a swing slot region during a swing as employed by the user.

The present invention also generally involves a method of fabricating an angled hitting stand apparatus, comprising the steps of: providing a base having a tap hole for accommodating at least one fastening element; a cap having a seating feature and having at least one tap hole for correspondingly accommodating the at least one other fastening element; providing a lower elongated member having proximal and distal ends and at least one tap hole; providing an upper elongated member having proximal and distal ends, the upper elongated member proximal end being in telescoping relation with the lower elongated member distal end for accommodating a height of a user, the upper elongated member distal end having a ball-receiving portion, the ball-receiving portion comprising at least one feature, such as an angled cut-away and a beveled cut-away; and providing an angling adapter for accommodating the lower elongated member proximal end, the angling adapter being in rotatable relation to the seating feature for accommodating an arm-length and arm-dominance of the user, the adapter having at least one recessed portion for facilitating angling of the apparatus in relation to the user and having at least one tap hole for accommodating at least one fastening element, in accordance with the present invention.

The present invention also involves a corresponding method of facilitating hitting, i.e., training, by way of an angled hitting stand apparatus, comprising the steps of: providing angled hitting stand apparatus; placing a ball in the ball-receiving portion of the apparatus, thereby presenting the ball at an angle in a range of approximately 38 degrees to approximately 42 degrees, and thereby providing a proper swinging condition to the user by ergonomically encouraging the user to be properly disposed in relation to a swing slot region; striding toward the ball with a leading foot of the user; opening a leading hip of the user; pulling a knob of the bat toward the ball; holding a leading arm across the front of the user's body; bending the trailing arm and maintaining it proximate a midsection of the user; bending an elbow of the user at an angle of approximately a 45 degrees; and properly swinging the bat at the ball by the user, thereby moving the trailing arm into the swing slot region, the swing slot region being disposed between the user's midsection and the bat.

Advantages of the present invention include, but are not limited to, providing hitting and batting training to users of all sizes and arm dominances (left-handed, right-handed, or ambidextrous). Other features of the present invention are disclosed, or are apparent, in the section entitled “Mode(s) for Carrying-Out the Invention,” disclosed, infra.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING(S)

For a better understanding of the present invention, reference is made to the below-referenced accompanying Drawing(s). Reference numbers refer to the same or equivalent parts of the present invention throughout the several figures of the Drawing(s).

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of an angled hitting stand apparatus, in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an angled hitting stand apparatus, wherein the apparatus accommodates right-handed users, left-handed users, as well as an ambidextrous users, in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3 a perspective view of an angled hitting stand apparatus in use, wherein the apparatus accommodates right-handed users, left-handed users, as well as an ambidextrous users, in accordance with the present invention.

MODE(S) FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 illustrates, in an exploded perspective view, an angled hitting stand apparatus 10, in accordance with the present invention. The angled hitting stand apparatus 10, comprises the following elements: a base 12 having a tap hole 12a for accommodating at least one fastening element, e.g., a bolt 12b, a washer 12c, and a nut 12d; a cap 14 having a seating feature 14a and having at least one tap hole 14b for correspondingly accommodating the at least one other fastening element, e.g., a locking washer (not shown), a flat washer 12c, and a nut 12d; a lower elongated member 18 having proximal and distal ends 18b, 18c and at least one tap hole 18a; an upper elongated member 20 having proximal and distal ends 20b, 20c, the upper elongated member proximal end 20b being in telescoping relation with the lower elongated member distal end 18c for accommodating a height of a user 24, the upper elongated member distal end 20c having a ball-receiving portion 20a, the ball-receiving portion 20a comprising at least one feature, such as an angled cut-away and a beveled cut-away; an angling adapter 16 for accommodating the lower elongated member proximal end 18b, the angling adapter 16 being in rotatable relation to the seating feature 14a for accommodating an arm-length and arm-dominance of the user 24, the adapter 16 having at least one recessed portion 16a for facilitating angling of the apparatus 10 in relation to the user 24 and having at least one tap hole 16b for accommodating at least one fastening element, e.g., a bolt 16c and a washer 16d, in accordance with the present invention. The foregoing elements are operatively related in a manner which facilitates correct physical mechanics during a swing employed by the user 24.

Still referring to FIG. 1, the base 12 comprises at least one material, such as rubber, plastic, or any other similar composite material, that is shock-absorbent, similarly supportive, adjustable, sturdy, weather resistant, and durable. Preferably, the base 12 comprises at least one configuration, such as a square shape circular, rectangular, triangular, and any other polygonal shape that is capable of supporting the apparatus 10, and an area in a range of approximately 14 in2 to approximately 18 in2. The base 12 comprises other thicknesses and dimensions. The base 12 comprises a weight in a range of approximately 6 lbs to approximately 8 lbs. The weight of the base 12 should be heavy enough to support the lower and upper elongated members 18, 20, i.e., the angled support arm, and stabilize the apparatus 10, i.e., the entire stand, when impacted, e.g., by the user 24 missing the ball 22 and hitting the apparatus 10 with a bat. The base 12 comprises a tap hole 12a which is preferably disposed in the center of the base 12. The tap hole 12a comprises a pre-drilled hole for accommodating at least one fastening element or fastener therethrough, e.g., a head bolt having a length in a range of approximately 3″ to approximately 4″ and a diameter in a range of approximately 1″ to approximately 2″ diameter head bolt. The underside of the tap hole 12a should have a pre-shaped seat formed into the bottom of the base 12, the seat comprising at least one configuration, such as a square shape, pentagon shape, and a hexagon shape, for facilitating securing the bolt through the base 12. The base 12 provides stability for the apparatus 10 upon impact when the ball 22 is struck by the user 24.

Also referring to FIG. 1, the cap 14 comprises at least one configuration, such as a circular shape, rectangular shape, a pentagonal shape, and a hexagonal shape, and at least one material, such as plastic, rubber, metal, and any other similar composite material, a thickness in a range of approximately ¼″ to approximately 1″, a height in a range of approximately 2″ to approximately 3″, and a diameter in a range of approximately 4″ to approximately 5″. In the center of the cap 14, a tap hole 14b, e.g., a vertical hole, is formed, e.g., drilled, for therethrough accommodating a fastener 12b, e.g., a bolt. The cap 14 is then secured to the base 12 with at least one other fastening element, e.g., a locking washer (not shown), a flat washer 12c, and a nut 12d.

Continuing with FIG. 1, the adapter 16 comprises a configuration, such as a cylindrical shape and at least one material, such as plastic and any other similar composite material, a height in a range of approximately 5″ to approximately 6″, a diameter of approximately 3½″, and a thickness of approximately ½″. The at least one tap hole 16b, e.g., a pre-drilled hole, is formed horizontally through both sides of the adapter 16 at a disposition that is approximately 2½″ from the adapter proximal end 16e, i.e., the bottom. At a disposition of approximately 1¾″ to approximately 3″ from the adapter distal end 16f, i.e., the top, the at least one recessed portion 16a is formed to accommodate the diameter (outer) of the lower elongated member 18. The adapter 16 vertically fits into the cap 14 with the at least one recessed portion 16a being exposed above the seating feature 14a. The adapter 16 allows the lower and upper elongated members 18, 20 to be moved, i.e., rotated, to either side, as well as back and forth, without impingement, at an angle in a range of approximately 38 degrees to approximately 42 degrees.

Still referring to FIG. 1, the lower elongated member 18 comprises a length in a range of approximately 18″ to approximately 22″ long, a diameter of approximately 2″, a thickness in a range of approximately 3/16″ to approximately 5/16″, at least one material, such as sturdy rubber, plastic, and other similar composite material, and at least one configuration, such as a cylindrically-shaped hollow tube and a solid rod. The at least one tap hole 18a comprises at least one pre-drilled hole being approximately 1½″ as measured from the lower elongated member proximal end 18b, i.e., the bottom, preferably the lower elongated member proximal end 18b is horizontally drilled through both sides for facilitating registration with the at least one tap hole 16b of the adapter 16 having proximal and distal ends 16e, 16f. The adapter 16 may comprise a receiving post. The adapter 16 may be thicker at the distal end 16f, i.e., the top portion or the receiving end, to allow the lower elongated member 18 to be adjusted for height and to be held in place. The fastening element or fastener 16c comprises a length of approximately 4″ to approximately 5″ long. The fastener 16c comprises an element, such as a bolt, a similarly sized metal element, and a similarly sized plastic element with a corresponding washer and a corresponding nut. The fastener 16c is passed through a sleeve (not shown), wherein the sleeve comprises at least one material, such as plastic, rubber, and a similar composite material; and the fastener 16c is secured with a washer (not shown) and a nut 16d on the exterior of the sleeve (not shown).

FIG. 2 illustrates, in a perspective view, the angled hitting stand apparatus 10 of FIG. 1, wherein the apparatus 10 accommodates arm or hand dominance, e.g., right-handed 15 users, left-handed users, and ambidextrous users, in accordance with the present invention. The upper elongated member 20 comprises a length of approximately 16″ to approximately 24″ long, a configuration, such as a cylindrical shape and a tube shape, at least one material, such as plastic, rubber, and a similar composite, a diameter of approximately 1½″. The upper elongated member distal end 20c, i.e., the top end, is cut diagonally at an angle in a range of approximately from 38 to approximately 42 degrees; and the tip of the upper elongated member distal end 20c is beveled to allow for the placement of at least one type of ball, such as a baseball and a softball. The upper elongated member 20 telescopes into the lower elongated member 18 or receiving post. Preferably, the upper elongated member distal end 20c comprises at least one interference-fit feature, such as knurling on an exterior surface and an outer diameter being greater than an inner diameter of the lower elongated member distal end 18c for facilitating height adjustment of the upper elongated member 20 in the lower elongated member 18. When a ball 22, e.g., a baseball or a softball is placed on the ball-receiving portion 20a, the center of gravity of the ball 22 shifts at an angle of approximately 38 to approximately 42 degrees.

Referring to both FIGS. 1 and 2, the present invention also involves a method of fabricating the angled hitting stand apparatus 10, the method of fabricating the angled hitting stand comprising the steps of: providing a base 12 having a tap hole 12a for accommodating at least one fastening element, e.g., a bolt 12b, a washer 12c, and a nut 12d; providing a cap 14 having a seating feature 14a and having at least one tap hole 14b for correspondingly accommodating the at least one other fastening element, e.g., a locking washer (not shown), a flat washer 12c, and a nut 12d; providing a lower elongated member 18 having proximal and distal ends 18b, 18c and at least one tap hole 18a; providing an upper elongated member 20 having proximal and distal ends 20b, 20c, the upper elongated member proximal end 20b being in telescoping relation with the lower elongated member distal end 18c for accommodating a height of a user 24, the upper elongated member distal end 20c having a ball-receiving portion 20a, the ball-receiving portion 20a comprising at least one feature, such as an angled cut-away and a beveled cut-away; and providing an angling adapter 16 for accommodating the lower elongated member proximal end 18b, the angling adapter 16 being in rotatable relation to the seating feature 14a for accommodating an arm-length and arm-dominance (if any) of the user 24, the adapter 16 having at least one recessed portion 16a for facilitating angling of the apparatus 10 in relation to the user 24 and having at least one tap hole 16b for accommodating at least one fastening element, e.g., a bolt 16c and a washer 16d.

FIG. 3 illustrates, in a perspective view, the angled hitting stand apparatus 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2 in use, wherein the apparatus 10 accommodates arm or hand dominance, e.g., right-handed users, left-handed users, and ambidextrous users, in accordance with the present invention. The present invention also involves a method of facilitating ball-hitting practice, e.g., to train hitters to make a correct swing, by way of an angled hitting stand apparatus 10, the method of facilitating ball-hitting practice comprising the steps of: providing angled hitting stand apparatus 10; placing a ball 22 in the ball-receiving portion 20a of the apparatus 10, thereby presenting the ball 22 at an angle in a range of approximately 38 degrees to approximately 42 degrees, and thereby providing a proper swinging condition to the user 24; striding toward the ball 22 with a leading foot of the user 24; opening a leading hip of the user 24; pulling a knob of the bat toward the ball 22; holding a leading arm across the front of the user's body; bending the trailing arm and maintaining it proximate a midsection of the user 24; bending an elbow of the user 24 at an angle of approximately a 45 degrees; and properly swinging the bat at the ball 22 by the user 24, thereby moving the trailing arm into a swing slot, the swing slot being disposed between the user's midsection and the bat.

Information as herein shown and described in detail is fully capable of attaining the above-described object of the invention, the presently preferred embodiment of the invention, and is, thus, representative of the subject matter which is broadly contemplated by the present invention. The scope of the present invention fully encompasses other embodiments which may become obvious to those skilled in the art, and is to be limited, accordingly, by nothing other than the appended claims, wherein reference to an element in the singular is not intended to mean “one and only one” unless explicitly so stated, but rather “one or more.” All structural and functional equivalents to the elements of the above-described preferred embodiment and additional embodiments that are known to those of ordinary skill in the art are hereby expressly incorporated by reference and are intended to be encompassed by the present claims.

Moreover, no requirement exists for a device or method to address each and every problem sought to be resolved by the present invention, for such to be encompassed by the present claims. Furthermore, no element, component, or method step in the present disclosure is intended to be dedicated to the public regardless of whether the element, component, or method step is explicitly recited in the claims. However, various changes and modifications in form, material, and fabrication material detail may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the inventions as set forth in the appended claims should be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art. No claim herein is to be construed under the provisions of 35 U.S.C. §112, sixth paragraph, unless the element is expressly recited using the phrase “means for.”

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

The present invention industrially applies to apparatuses and methods for facilitating ball-hitting practice. More particularly, the present invention industrially applies to apparatuses and methods for facilitating batting practice. Even more particularly, the present invention industrially applies to systems and methods for apparatuses and methods for facilitating batting practice with respect to a plurality of user heights, user arm lengths, and user arm or hand dominances.