Title:
SOCCER TRAINING AND MOTIVATION PROGRAM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of promoting development and motivation in a field of achievement is provided, comprising isolating a task for development, prescribing a level of achievement related to the task, measuring the level of achievement, and awarding the achievement of the task with a tangible indicia of achievement. The invention in its preferred embodiment relates to the sport of soccer.



Inventors:
Abboud, Mark (Woodbury, MN, US)
Application Number:
12/271260
Publication Date:
05/14/2009
Filing Date:
11/14/2008
Assignee:
SKILLZYS, LLC (Woodbury, MN, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
434/251
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FERNSTROM, KURT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP (MINNEAPOLIS, MN, US)
Claims:
1. A method of promoting development and motivation in a field of achievement, comprising: (a) isolating a task for development; (b) prescribing a level of achievement related to the task; (c) measuring the level of achievement; and (d) awarding the achievement of the task with a tangible indicia of achievement.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the field of achievement is the sport of soccer.

3. The method of claim 1 where the task is skills based.

4. The method of claim 1 where the task is character based.

5. The method of claim 4 wherein the character based task relates to sportsmanship.

6. The method of claim 4 wherein the character based task relates to effort and energy.

7. The method of claim 4 wherein the character based task relates to attitude.

8. The method of claim 2 wherein the task is a pull back turn.

9. The method of claim 2 wherein the task is a give and go play.

10. The method of claim 2 wherein the task is juggling a soccer ball.

11. The method of claim 2 wherein the task is kicking a soccer ball.

12. The method of claim 1 wherein the indicia of achievement is a card.

13. The method of claim 12 wherein the card is made plastic.

14. The method of claim 13 wherein the card can be attached to a bag.

15. The method of claim 1 wherein the task is divided into a series of subtasks, each subtask having a level of achievement associated therewith.

16. The method of claim 16 wherein achievement is awarded for each subtask with a tangible indicia of achievement.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

The present application claims priority to, and incorporates by reference, U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/987,802 filed Nov. 14, 2008 entitled SOCCER TRAINING AND MOTIVATIONAL PROGRAM.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a method for use in improving the technical skills and motivation of sports participants, and in particular those participating in the sport of soccer.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In soccer, as in most sports, a great deal of attention is paid to the development and motivation of the athletes playing the sport. This is especially true at early stages of development. All sports take time to learn and this is clearly true for children. While children can discover the natural fan in nearly any sport, they also are quickly frustrated when they are unable to advance at a sufficient pace and/or play the game at the level of their sport heroes and idols. When children first begin to learn a sport, they simply do not understand, and are generally not ready for, the level of commitment and practice required to reach their maximum potential in a sport.

Thus, a problem exists in bridging the gap between a child's natural enthusiasm and the time it takes to develop the necessary skills to engage in sport at a high level.

Many devices exist to bridge this gap, which are generally designed to make the sport fun as well as teaching the skills necessary to excel. Primarily, in this regard, there exists many skill training devices which are designed to develop the ability and skills of the participants, and particularly the skills of younger participants. These devices tend to isolate a particular skill used in a sport for focused development. Hopefully, especially in the case of younger participants, these devices are fun which helps keep the interest level high.

Another important aspect of successful development of athletes is motivation. It is not enough to merely develop skills. There must be a certain level of focused drive and inspiration for an athlete to truly exceed at the highest possible level. Thus, a successful program for the development of sport participants should not ignore the importance of motivation in the success of athletes.

Typically, there is little attention paid to both aspects of development, more commonly the focus is on one aspect or the other. Thus, a need exists for a total system for the development of both the skill and the motivation of athletes and especially of younger athletes.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a program for skills develop and motivation.

These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon reference to the following specification, drawings, and claims.

The present invention intends to overcome the difficulties encountered heretofore. To that end, a method of promoting development and motivation in a field of achievement is provided, comprising isolating a task for development, prescribing a level of achievement related to the task, measuring the level of achievement, and awarding the achievement of the task with a tangible indicia of achievement.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a character based skillzy.

FIG. 2 depicts a task based skillzy.

FIG. 3 depicts a team based skillzy.

FIG. 4 depicts a skills based skillzy.

FIG. 5 depicts a skills based skillzy.

FIG. 6 depicts a skills based skillzy.

FIG. 7 depicts a skills based skillzy.

FIG. 8 depicts a skills based skillzy.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present invention relates to skill development and the motivational aspects of a sport, and in particular the sport of Soccer. As mentioned above, it is not enough to simply develop skills in order to maximize the effectiveness of a player in a sport. A certain amount of motivation or encouragement needs to be imparted as well. This can be accomplished through the use of a one or more skillzys. A skillzy is a task, responsibility, undertaking, trait, or characteristic which is designed and developed to award, and therefore motivate, particular achievement in a sport or activity. In particular, the task can be broken down into a series of steps toward accomplishing the specific goal, with a separate skillzy awarded for each step toward the overall goal to be accomplished. In this regard, the skillzy represents a progressive system of achievement and motivation, and the depiction of each of the individual skillzys below is an example of one skillzy in the series wherein each skillzy breaks the task down into parts and awards the accomplishment of each step as motivation to accomplish the final goal.

As shown in FIG. 1, the skillzys can be physically represented with a generally credit card sized PVC cards that will be used as incentives/rewards to help motivate young athletes. Each skillzy will depict (graphically illustrate) a specific sports technique and skillzys will be earned by the kids upon demonstration of proficiency of that skill in competitive environments.

The skillzys will have a hole punched in the top left corner so that they can be strung on an over-sized, lockable key ring in order to be displayed on a sports bag or backpack.

As the players develop, the skillzys can be used not only as a reward for accomplishment, but also as a form of healthy intra-team competition. As players develop and earn awards their teammates will be similarly motivated to achieve similar awards. Furthermore, the skillzys can award team accomplishments as well, in which case they are earned by all members of the team. The display of the awards on the player's sport bag is a constant reminder of the achievements that the player has earned along the way, and an incentive to earn additional awards.

In particular, the skillzys depicted in FIG. 1 is designed to promote and reward the character traits of sportsmanship, effort and energy, and attitude, which are important traits in sports as well as other activities. This set of skillzys can be referred to with the acronym SEAS. Coaches, trainers, parents, or other authority figures can use the SEAS skillzys to focus the player toward development of these traits. When the player has developed sufficient skills, as determined based on a predefined criteria, one or more of the SEAS skillzys are awarded to the player. The player will be evaluated based on performance on and off the field, and can be taught to focus on the SEAS traits rather than things that they cannot control such as weather, field conditions, officials, the other team, performance of teammates, and the like.

FIG. 2 depicts a specific skill orientated skillzy, which is designed to motivate and teach the Pull Back Turn skill common to the sport of soccer. This is a soccer ball control skill where foot and ball movement are coordinated with a pivot turn. The skill can be taught through drills, as well as executed in a game environment, with the skillzy awarded in response thereto. The skillzy also provides a reminder of the breakdown of the elements of the skill.

The Pull Back Turn skillzy is of a type that are designed to encourage individual technical skills development by rewarding athletes when they properly execute an individual move, or combination of moves, or when they obtain a certain measurable skill level using the specific skill involved.

FIG. 3 depicts one of a series of combination play skillzys used to develop tactical ideas and group play on a sport team. The example shown in FIG. 3 is the Give & Go skillzy. In this skill, a first player passes the ball to a second player and the first player immediately breaks away and receives the ball back from the second player.

This is a multiple player task and is designed to promote and motivate not only particular skills, but the execution of skills in a cooperative team environment—which is an important aspect of success in team sports and activities.

FIG. 4 depicts another example of a series skillzy focusing on the skill of juggling in soccer. The Blue Level Juggler skillzy, shown in FIG. 4, is awarded to players that demonstrate the ability to keep a soccer ball in the air through the use of their feet, head, and body. The skill level can be measured and awarded based on the number of touches and rewarded with a skillzy for that level. FIG. 4 shows a blue skillzy for 10 touches, other skillzys are awarded for more touches with different colors as a means to motivate performance. Athletes work to develop their joggling sill with the soccer ball, attaining higher and higher levels as they improve. Series like this help to motivate while allowing coaches and trainers to encourage goal setting and work ethic needed to reach set goals.

FIG. 5 depicts another example of a series skillzy associated with the sport of soccer. The Crack the Crossbar skillzy relates to the ability to strike a soccer ball and hit the soccer goal crossbar from certain distances. This skill is designed to develop power and accuracy in kicking skills. The number on the skillzy denotes the distance from the crossbar, and additional skillzys can be used to award progressive achievement relating to this task, for example hitting the crossbar from further distances.

In this regard, the progressive element of awarding skillzys for accomplishing a task in steps is an important motivational factor. It serves the purpose of setting realistic incremental goals, especially for younger athletes, and provides continuous positive feedback that keeps interest high. Further, the collection of the series of skillzys provides a constant tangible reminder of achievement, and the display of the skillzys is a source of pride to the athlete, and motivation to others.

While the invention has been described in terms of soccer, those of ordinary skill in the art will understand that the invention is not necessarily limited thereto. While the initial embodiment of the skillzys programs is for soccer, and most preferably youth soccer, the program is applicable to other traditional team sports, such as hockey, football, basketball, baseball, as well as individual sports such as golf, tennis, track, and the like. Moreover, the concept can be used with non-athletic endeavors such as any aspect of education.

For example, FIGS. 6, 7, and 8 depict skills based skillzys in sports other than soccer. FIG. 6 shows a basketball skillzy designed to develop and motivate dribbling skills. FIG. 7 shows a baseball skillzy that is designed to develop and motivate hitting skills. FIG. 8 shows a football skillzy that is designed to develop and motivate kicking skills. The skillzys show in FIGS. 6-8 are awarded in the same manner as described hereinabove.

Unless otherwise defined, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Although methods and materials similar to or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice or testing of the present invention, suitable methods, and materials are described below. All publications, patent applications, patents, and other references mentioned herein are incorporated by reference in their entirety to the extent allowed by applicable law and regulations. In case of conflict, the present specification, including definitions, will control.

The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential attributes thereof, and it is therefore desired that the present embodiment be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, reference being made to the appended claims rather than to the foregoing description to indicate the scope of the invention. Those of ordinary skill in the art that have the disclosure before them will be able to make modifications and variations therein without departing from the scope of the invention.