Title:
FOOTWORK GRID TO TRAIN FOOTBALL PLAYERS TO STEP CORRECTLY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A footwork grid to train football players to step correctly includes: a first bar; a first tee section on the first bar; a second bar, retained by the first tee section, generally transverse to the first bar; a second tee section on the first bar; a third bar, rotatably retained by the second tee section, generally transverse to the first bar; a third tee section slidably attached to the third bar; a fourth bar retained by the third tee section. The device is adapted to rotate the third bar and slide the third tee section so as to provide a shape for training the user to step.



Inventors:
Esposito, James Eric (Prince Frederick, MD, US)
Application Number:
12/730167
Publication Date:
11/25/2010
Filing Date:
03/23/2010
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
James Esposito (Prince Frederick, MD, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A device for training a user to step, comprising: a first bar; a first tee section on the first bar; a second bar, retained by the first tee section, generally transverse to the first bar; a second tee section on the first bar; a third bar, rotatably retained by the second tee section, generally transverse to the first bar; a third tee section slidably attached to the third bar; a fourth bar retained by the third tee section; wherein the device is adapted to rotate the third bar and slide the third tee section so as to provide a shape for training the user to step.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein the first tee section is a rigid tee section, and the second bar is retained by the first tee section so as to be generally perpendicular to the first bar and extend to both sides of the first bar.

3. The device of claim 1, further comprising: a cap at a distal end of the third bar.

4. The device of claim 1, wherein the fourth bar is rotatably retained by the third tee section, so that the device is adapted to rotate the third and fourth bars, and slide the third tee section so as to provide a shape for training the user to step.

5. The device of claim 1, wherein first tee is located at a first end of the first bar and the second tee located is at a second end of the first bar, opposite the first end.

6. The device of claim 1, wherein the third tee section is slidably and rotatably retained by the third bar so that the fourth bar may be positioned on either side of the third bar.

7. The device of claim 1, further comprising: a third bar, rotatably retained by the second tee section, generally transverse to the first bar; a fourth tee section slidably and rotatably attached to the third bar; and a fourth bar retained by the fourth tee section, generally perpendicular to the third bar; wherein the device is adapted to rotate the second and third bars, and slide and rotate the third and fourth tee sections so as to provide a shape for training the user to step.

8. A method for training a user to step, comprising: providing a device having a first bar, a second bar connected to the first bar, a third bar rotatably connected to the first bar, and a sliding bar slidably connected to the third bar; positioning a foot of the user utilizing the device; and stepping with the foot utilizing the device to reposition the foot, thereby training the user to step.

9. The method of claim 8, further comprising: positioning a second foot of the user utilizing the device to form a stance; and stepping with the second foot utilizing the device to reposition the second foot, thereby training the user to step with both feet from the stance.

10. The method of clam 8, wherein the bars are utilized to train stance and the first two steps for American football.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims benefit of priority from United States Provisional Application No. 61/179,611, filed May 15, 2009, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to sports training equipment, and more specifically, to a footwork grid to train football players to step correctly.

It is difficult to coach football players to take correct steps as blockers and tacklers, as well as in other positions. Their feet are not properly angled and they need to improve footwork precision. Coaches do not recognize that players are stepping incorrectly and players get no visual feedback and therefore don't correct their mistakes.

Existing are agility ladders and T-boards. However, neither is adjustable to different angles or individual players, and so are limited as teaching tools.

As can be seen, there is a need for a device to train football players in the correct stance and first two steps.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect of the present invention, a device for training a user to step includes: a first bar; a first tee section on the first bar; a second bar, retained by the first tee section, generally transverse to the first bar; a second tee section on the first bar; a third bar, rotatably retained by the second tee section, generally transverse to the first bar; a third tee section slidably attached to the third bar; a fourth bar retained by the third tee section; wherein the device is adapted to rotate the third bar and slide the third tee section so as to provide a shape for training the user to step.

In another aspect of the present invention, a method for training a user to step includes: providing a device having a first bar, a second bar connected to the first bar, a third bar rotatably connected to the first bar, and a sliding bar slidably connected to the third bar; positioning a foot of the user utilizing the device; and stepping with the foot utilizing the device to reposition the foot, thereby training the user to step.

These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following drawings, description and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a front view of an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 depicts a front view of an embodiment of a hinged tee section according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 depicts a front view of an embodiment of a sliding bar section according to the present invention; and

FIG. 4 depicts six example configurations for using an embodiment of the present invention for different football stances and steps.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following detailed description is of the best currently contemplated modes of carrying out exemplary embodiments of the invention. The description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention, since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.

Various inventive features are described below that can each be used independently of one another or in combination with other features.

Broadly, an embodiment of the present invention generally provides a footwork grid with adjustable angles to train football players at any position to step correctly.

An embodiment of the invention aligns players to take the correct steps, putting them into the right track and giving them and coaches immediate feedback on their footwork. It is lightweight and portable.

An embodiment includes a system that teaches multiple footwork angles or gives visual feedback to football coaches and players. It fills that need by allowing coaches to teach and players to learn the proper footwork to execute plays correctly. Embodiments may adjust to players at all levels: professional, collegiate, high school and youth. Embodiments may be lightweight and portable, may set up in seconds, and help allow coaches to be more efficient teachers and makes the most of their practice time.

As depicted in FIG. 1, an embodiment of the present invention includes a trainer system 10 having a rigid tee section 12 attached to a hinged tee section 14, with sliding bar sections 16 on the hinge section 14. Caps 18 retain the slide bar sections 16 on the hinge section 14. Rigid tee section 12 has an upper horizontal bar 20 connected to a rigid tee 22. Hinged tee section 14 has two lower bars 24, each rotatably attached to a double-hinged tee 26. Rigid tee 22 and double-hinged tee 26 are connected to each other with a vertical bar 28 to form an “H”. Sliding bar sections 16 each have a single-hinged tee 30 rotatably attached to sliding bars 32.

FIG. 2 depicts an embodiment of a hinged tee section 14. Steel straps 34 provide the hinges to connect double-hinged tee 26 to the two lower bars 24, and double-hinged tee 26 is attached to vertical bar 28.

FIG. 3 depicts an embodiment of a sliding bar section 16. A steel strap 34 provides a hinge to connect single-hinged tee 30 to a sliding bar 32. Single-hinged tee 30 can slide along the lower bar 24, or can rotate around it to flip the sliding bar 32 from one side to the other.

FIG. 4 depicts six example configurations for using an embodiment 10 for different football stances and steps.

An embodiment is a device configured as a grid and designed to teach football players to position themselves and step correctly at any position in the game of football. The device is placed flat on an indoor or outdoor surface. The rigid tee section 12 and hinged tee section 14 lie parallel to each other, with their middle bars intersecting to form an H-shaped figure. The hinged tee section 14 has two sections, each of which may be angled laterally up to 90 degrees inward and 135 degrees outward. This allows players to take steps at varying angles. The rigid tee section 12 may comprise lightweight, tubular, durable materials including but not limited to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) piping, metal and plastic. The hinged tee section 14 also may include lightweight, durable materials including but not limited to PVC, CPVC piping, metal and plastic in tubular form, which is hinged with one-inch post screws that are made of anti-rust materials. The horizontal bars are generally transverse to the vertical bar in that they may be perpendicular, or at least at an angle to the vertical bar.

The sliding bar sections 16, are made of material similar to rigid tee section 12 and hinged tee section 14, but are shorter and have the ability to slide along the right and left sections of the hinged tee section 14 or rigid tee section 12. The sliding bar sections 16 can move laterally up to 100 degrees in each direction, as well as move over in an arc so they can be placed on the inside or outside of the hinged tee axis. The caps 18 fit on the four ends of the longer tees and the two ends of the sliding bars to eliminate the rough edges. The caps may comprise materials including but not limited to CPVC, PVC, metal, plastic or rubber.

An embodiment includes rigid tee section 12, hinged tee section 14 and at least one sliding bar section 16. Other embodiments include additional sliding bar sections 16 to increase the number of drills that can be incorporated. For example, at least two sliding bar sections 16 are needed for drills with two players. The caps 18 are optional but reduce the risk of scraping injuries.

An embodiment may include additional beneficial features, such as more sliding bar sections 16 to increase drill options. Color-coding the sliding bar sections 16 would allow coaches and players to more easily identify their stepping targets.

In an embodiment, the rigid tee section 12 and hinged tee section 14 form the long, horizontal sides of the grid. The mid-bars intersect and the width between the long bars can be adjusted from 8 inches minimum to 24 inches maximum for youth and high school; and from 15 inches minimum to 30 inches maximum for college and professional levels. Users can vary the degree of width between the bars depending on the player's foot size. Varying the angles of hinged tee section 14 toward or away from the midline at different degrees will accommodate the foot placement for several types of steps.

In an embodiment, one or more sliding bar sections 16 can be added to the grid by removing the cap 18 and sliding it (them) anywhere from the end to the midline of hinged tee section 14 and can be done on one or both sections of hinged tee section 14. This allows multiple angles to incorporate more advanced steps, including but not limited to “combo” blocks. In other words, two players can use the grid simultaneously. For yet other step variations, one or more sliding bar sections 16 can be attached to rigid tee section 12, again by removing cap 18 and moving the sliding bar section 16 anywhere from the end to the midline of rigid tee section 12.

Following is an example of the process for using an embodiment to perform a basic skill in football: the drive block. Flip the sliding bar sections 16 outward to form the base of the football stance. The player stands between the sliding bar sections 16 with feet parallel or staggered. The hinged tee section 14 can be angled to form the staggered stance. Next, the player steps into the center of the grid, between rigid tee section 12 and hinged tee section 14 to perform the initial two steps of the block. Finally, the player steps over rigid tee section 12 to complete the block and get the feet back to parallel. By adjusting hinged tees and sliding bar sections, virtually every step at any position in football can be performed within the footwork grid.

An embodiment trains football players to perform steps correctly by adjusting the grid to align their feet and give them a visual target in which to step. The sliding bar is adjusted by the user by sliding it up, down or over hinged tee section to guide the player's foot position. The rigid hinged tee section and hinged tee section narrow and widen to accommodate the player's foot size. The hinged tee section and sliding bar work in conjunction to form any stepping angle desired.

It should be understood, of course, that the foregoing relates to exemplary embodiments of the invention and that modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the following claims.