Title:
Methods and apparatuses for training athletes
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Methods and apparatuses for training athletes are described. Specifically, in one embodiment, a wooden baseball training bat is shown. The training bat permits development of fundamental swinging techniques by using weights that are strategically located along different axial locations of the training bat. The training bat's knob-loaded design forces the hands to stay inside the ball during the swing, and to prevent casting and other mechanical breakdowns.



Inventors:
Gregory, Frank Contardi (Townsend, GA, US)
Application Number:
12/913037
Publication Date:
07/14/2011
Filing Date:
10/27/2010
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Frank Gregory (Townsend, GA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An axially-symmetric wooden training bat having a distal end and a proximal end, the distal end being approximately 34.0 inches from the proximal end, the bat comprising: a weight located at the proximal end of the bat, the weight being axially symmetric, the weight having an axial length of approximately 1.80 inches, the weight having a cross-sectional diameter of approximately 2.5 inches. a knob located on the bat distal to the weight, the knob being axially symmetric; a handle located on the bat distal to the knob, the handle being axially symmetric, the handle having an axial length of approximately 10.25 inches; a counterweight located on the bat distal to the handle, the counterweight being axially symmetric, the counterweight having an axial length of approximately 3.35 inches, the counterweight having a cross-sectional diameter of approximately 2.5 inches; and a barrel located at the distal end of the bat, the barrel being axially symmetric, the barrel being tapered from the distal end to the proximal end, the barrel further having an axial length of approximately 17.75 inches, the barrel having a cross-sectional diameter of approximately 2.5 inches near the distal end.

2. A training bat, comprising: a weight located at a proximal end of the bat; a knob located distal to the weight; a handle located distal to the knob; a counterweight located distal to the handle; and a barrel located distal to the counterweight.

3. A bat, comprising: a handle having a distal end and a proximal end; a weight located toward the proximal end of the handle; and a counterweight located toward the distal end of the handle.

4. The bat of claim 3, wherein the bat is wooden.

5. The bat of claim 3, further comprising a knob interposed between the handle and the weight.

6. The bat of claim 3, further comprising a barrel extending distally from the counterweight.

7. The bat of claim 6, wherein the barrel has an axial length of approximately 17.75 inches.

8. The bat of claim 3, wherein the weight and counterweight cooperate to develop proper hand mechanics in a user.

9. The bat of claim 3, wherein the counterweight exhibits axial symmetry.

10. The bat of claim 9, wherein the counterweight has an axial length of approximately 3.35 inches.

11. The bat of claim 3, wherein the counterweight has a substantially-circular cross-section.

12. The bat of claim 11, wherein the counterweight has a cross-sectional diameter of approximately 2.5 inches.

13. The bat of claim 3, wherein the weight exhibits axial symmetry.

14. The bat of claim 13, wherein the weight has an axial length of approximately 1.8 inches.

15. The bat of claim 3, wherein the weight has a substantially-circular cross-section.

16. The bat of claim 15, wherein the weight has a cross-sectional diameter of approximately 2.5 inches.

17. The bat of claim 3, wherein the counterweight is heavier than the weight.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional application patent application Ser. No. 61/280,102, filed Oct. 30, 2009, having the title “Hands-n-Speedtrainer,” which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

The present disclosure relates generally to sports, and more particularly, to systems and methods for training athletes.

BACKGROUND

Aluminum bats enable a batter to hit a baseball an average of fifteen percent (15%) farther and have a sweet spot that is approximately six (6) inches larger than wooden bats. As a result, batters who rely on aluminum bats for training are often lulled into a false sense of confidence concerning their hitting ability. Aluminum bats do, however, facilitate development of proper mechanics involved in correctly and effectively swinging a baseball bat at maximum speed.

Training bats currently on the market are overloaded in the barrel, which cause a casting effect and other mechanical breakdowns in the batter's swing. Reliance on aluminum and barrel-loaded bats can result in many batters' failure to hit at a professional level, where only wooden bats are used.

Thus, a heretofore unaddressed need exists in the industry to address the aforementioned deficiencies and inadequacies.

SUMMARY

The present disclosure provides methods and apparatuses for training athletes.

Briefly described, in architecture, one embodiment of the apparatus is a baseball bat with two weighted segments. In addition to typical components of a baseball bat (e.g., a knob, a handle, and a barrel), one embodiment of the inventive bat comprises a weight below the knob, and a counterweight above the handle. These weighted segments (weight and counterweight) allow for proper development of hand mechanics without fewer mechanically-detrimental effects than currently-existing training bats.

Other systems, devices, methods, features, and advantages will be or become apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following drawings and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, features, and advantages be included within this description, be within the scope of the present disclosure, and be protected by the accompanying claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Many aspects of the disclosure can be better understood with reference to the following drawings. The components in the drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon clearly illustrating the principles of the present disclosure. Moreover, in the drawings, like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several views.

FIG. 1 shows one embodiment of a training bat.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

Reference is now made in detail to the description of the embodiments as illustrated in the drawings. While several embodiments are described in connection with these drawings, there is no intent to limit the disclosure to the embodiment or embodiments disclosed herein. On the contrary, the intent is to cover all alternatives, modifications, and equivalents.

The inventive baseball training bat is the first training bat that is designed to fully develop the necessary mechanics to transition to professional-level hitting by helping a batter create true power in his swing. Its front-knob-loaded design forces the batter to develop the proper hand path to the ball, thereby increasing bat speed and hitting distance through natural and proper mechanics, and not due to the composition of the bat or an enlarged sweet spot. The inventive baseball training bat allows for proper development of hand mechanics, power, and bat swing through repeated training.

FIG. 1 shows one embodiment of a training bat. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, the bat is a wooden training bat that exhibits axial symmetry. Starting from one end (designated as a proximal end) and moving axially toward the other end (designated as the distal end), the wooden training bat comprises a weight 140, a knob 150, a handle 130, a counterweight 120, and a barrel 110.

For some embodiments, the weight 140 is integrally formed from the same wood as the bat. Preferably, the weight 140 exhibits axial symmetry, and has a circular cross-section. For the preferred embodiment, the weight 140 has an axial length of approximately 1.8 inches, and a cross-sectional diameter of approximately 2.5 inches. This gives the weight 140 a substantially cylindrical shape.

Moving distally along the bat is the knob 150. Since the knob 150 itself is no different from conventional knobs on conventional baseball bats, further discussion of the knob 150 is omitted herein.

Tapering down from the knob 150 is the handle 130 for grasping the bat. In a preferred embodiment, the handle 130 is an axially-symmetric shaft that is approximately 10.25 inches in length. Since the handle 130 is also similar to those in conventional baseball bats, further discussion of the handle 130 is omitted here.

Distal to the handle 130 is the counterweight 120. The counterweight 120 is located on the axially-distal side of the handle 130, thereby providing a counterbalance for the weight 140 that is located on the axially-proximal side of the handle 130. For some embodiments, the counterweight 120 is simply a “bulge” that is carved of the same wood as the bat. In a preferred embodiment, the counterweight 140 is an axially-symmetric segment that has a substantially-circular cross-sectional area. Thus, for the preferred embodiment, the counterweight 140 appears substantially cylindrical. In the preferred embodiment, the counterweight has an axial length of approximately 3.35 inches, and a cross-sectional diameter of approximately 2.5 inches. Given these dimensions, and given that the counterweight 120 in this embodiment is crafted from the same wood as the weight 140, the counterweight 120 is heavier than the weight 140.

Extending distally from the counterweight 120 is the barrel 110. The barrel 110 is tapered such that the greater cross-sectional area is located at the distal end of the bat, while the smaller cross-sectional area is located more proximally, and closer to the counterweight 120.

In total, in its preferred embodiment, the length of the bat is approximately 34 inches, which is the typical regulation length of a baseball bat.

Although exemplary embodiments have been shown and described, it will be clear to those of ordinary skill in the art that a number of changes, modifications, or alterations to the disclosure as described may be made. For example, while the preferred embodiment shows the weigh 140 being located at the proximal end of the bat, one should appreciate that the weight 140 need not be at the very end of the bat. Instead, emphasis being placed on the fact that the weight 140 and the counterweight 120 are located below and above the handle 130, respectively, thereby providing a balanced weight distribution on either side of the handle 130. In other words, what is important is that the weight 140 and the counterweight 120 provide a sufficient increase in angular momentum of the bat as a user swings the bat by holding the handle 130. This distribution of mass provides the means by which the user develops proper hand mechanics.

Additionally, while specific dimensions are provided to better enable a manufacturer to practice the best mode for the training bat, it should be appreciated that the lengths, diameters, and other dimensions of the bat can be altered without adversely affecting the function of the inventive bat.

Furthermore, while the preferred embodiment shows the training bat being fabricated from a single piece of wood, with each of the segments 110, 120, 130, 140, 150 being carved from the wood, it should be appreciated that the weight 140 and counterweight 120 can be appended to the wooden bat, rather than being an integrated part of the same wooden bat.

Lastly, while the preferred embodiment shows a wooden baseball training bat, one should appreciate that the disclosed concept can be extended to bats that are made of other materials, and also to softball bats and other similar sporting equipment in which proper hand mechanics are important.

All such changes, modifications, and alterations should therefore be seen as within the scope of the disclosure.