US20140315666A1 - Ball handling improvement device - Google Patents

Ball handling improvement device Download PDF

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Publication number
US20140315666A1
US20140315666A1 US14/255,918 US201414255918A US2014315666A1 US 20140315666 A1 US20140315666 A1 US 20140315666A1 US 201414255918 A US201414255918 A US 201414255918A US 2014315666 A1 US2014315666 A1 US 2014315666A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
improvement device
ball handling
ball
cuff
handling improvement
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US14/255,918
Inventor
Holly Medley
Beyonca Johnson
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Individual
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Individual
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Priority to US14/255,918 priority Critical patent/US20140315666A1/en
Publication of US20140315666A1 publication Critical patent/US20140315666A1/en
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B69/00Training appliances or apparatus for special sports
    • A63B69/0057Means for physically limiting movements of body parts
    • A63B69/0059Means for physically limiting movements of body parts worn by the user
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B21/00Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices
    • A63B21/0004Exercising devices moving as a whole during exercise
    • A63B21/00043Exercising devices consisting of a pair of user interfaces connected by flexible elements, e.g. two handles connected by elastic bands
    • A63B21/00167
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B21/00Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices
    • A63B21/02Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using resilient force-resisters
    • A63B21/055Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using resilient force-resisters extension element type
    • A63B21/0552Elastic ropes or bands
    • A63B21/0557Details of attachments, e.g. clips or clamps
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B21/00Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices
    • A63B21/40Interfaces with the user related to strength training; Details thereof
    • A63B21/4001Arrangements for attaching the exercising apparatus to the user's body, e.g. belts, shoes or gloves specially adapted therefor
    • A63B21/4017Arrangements for attaching the exercising apparatus to the user's body, e.g. belts, shoes or gloves specially adapted therefor to the upper limbs
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B24/00Electric or electronic controls for exercising apparatus of preceding groups; Controlling or monitoring of exercises, sportive games, training or athletic performances
    • A63B24/0087Electric or electronic controls for exercising apparatus of groups A63B21/00 - A63B23/00, e.g. controlling load
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B69/00Training appliances or apparatus for special sports
    • A63B69/0071Training appliances or apparatus for special sports for basketball
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B23/00Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body
    • A63B2023/006Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body for stretching exercises
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2220/00Measuring of physical parameters relating to sporting activity
    • A63B2220/17Counting, e.g. counting periodical movements, revolutions or cycles, or including further data processing to determine distances or speed
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2220/00Measuring of physical parameters relating to sporting activity
    • A63B2220/20Distances or displacements
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2220/00Measuring of physical parameters relating to sporting activity
    • A63B2220/62Time or time measurement used for time reference, time stamp, master time or clock signal
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2243/00Specific ball sports not provided for in A63B2102/00 - A63B2102/38
    • A63B2243/0037Basketball
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B43/00Balls with special arrangements
    • A63B43/005Balls with special arrangements with adhesive type surfaces, e.g. hook-and-loop type fastener

Definitions

  • the present invention generally relates to sports training devices. Specifically, this invention relates to a device for improving the speed, power and control behind one or more ball handling skills, affected through the use of one or more resistance bands and two or more securing cuffs/means. Certain embodiments of the present invention may be used to improve the speed, power and control of a basketball player's ball handling skills, through toning, strengthening and providing muscle memory improvements to the muscles of the basketball player. Other embodiments may be utilized by players of any sport that would benefit from similar strengthening, toning and muscle memory improvements provided by the ball handling improvement device.
  • FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a ball handling improvement device, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention
  • FIG. 2 shows a top view of the ball handling improvement device of FIG. 1 ;
  • FIG. 3 shows a front perspective view of the ball handling improvement device of FIG. 1 ;
  • FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of the ball handling improvement device of FIG. 1 , in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 5 shows a top perspective view of the ball handling improvement device of FIG. 4 .
  • embodiments of the present invention are directed to a ball dribbling improvement device that provides improved muscle strength in the arms and increases dribbling speed, power and control.
  • the device further aids in preventing injury by strengthening the muscles involved in dribbling, passing, and catching a ball.
  • the ball handling improvement device includes a pair of opposing cuffs connected by a resistance band, where the cuffs are configured to be worn on a user's arms.
  • Rotating connection rings connect the cuffs to opposite sides of the resistance band.
  • a band stabilizer sleeve is wrapped around at least a portion of the resistance band, disposed between the cuffs and slidable between the rotating rings.
  • a user places a cuff on each forearm and handles/dribbles a ball.
  • the resistance band provides a resistance force while the user is dribbling a ball from hand to hand.
  • the rotating rings and stabilizer sleeve allow the user to move their arms in a variety of motions without interference from the resistance band.
  • added versatility of movement may be added by interposing a clip or secondary ring between each connecting ring and its corresponding cuff.
  • a locking collar is wrapped around each cuff to help secure the cuff to a user's forearm.
  • the locking collar includes a buckle for closing the collar around its respective cuff and securing it thereto.
  • the buckle may also serve as retention means for a rotating connection ring.
  • the cuffs include hook and loop closures such that each of said cuffs may be wrapped around a user's arm and secured thereto using the hook and loop closures.
  • the cuffs are form fitting arm bands.
  • An arm band cuff may be made from an elastic material that conforms to the size of a user's arm.
  • the ball dribbling improvement device may include a clip or secondary ring interposed between the connecting ring and its corresponding cuff.
  • the clip may be attached to the rotating ring on one side and collar buckle on the other side.
  • the clip or secondary ring may allow a user greater arm motion versatility without interference from the resistance band.
  • a method of improving the characteristics of an individual's ball handling skills through use of a ball handling improvement device comprising the steps of: (1) a user attaching a cuff of a ball handling improvement device to each forearm; and (2) dribbling a ball, wherein the ball is dribbled from hand-to-hand while the device is attached to the user's forearms.
  • Other ball handling skills besides dribbling may also be practiced while wearing the device.
  • the present invention generally relates to sports training devices. Specifically, this invention relates to a device 100 for improving the speed, power and control of handling or dribbling a ball, affected through use of one or more resistance bands and two or more securing cuffs/means. Preferred embodiments of the present invention may further include one or more rotating rings or other motion components and one or more band stabilizers (See, FIGS. 1 and 2 ).
  • the resistance band 150 is comprised of a band of elastic material that provides a predetermined level of resistance when the band is extended to the edges of its elasticity.
  • Each resistance band may have a specified level of resistance, with the stiffer bands generally providing higher resistance than resistance bands that are more elastic.
  • the resistance band is a 10 inch quad strap resistance band.
  • the resistance band is attached to one or more securing means.
  • the securing means may include, but are not limited to, a cuff, a locking collar, a hook and loop cuff, a hoop, an arm band or any others appropriate means for securing one end of a resistance band to a portion of an arm of the user of the ball handling improvement device as described herein.
  • the securing means may have a cylindrical shape configured to be fastened around a user's arm and may be radially continuous or discontinuous.
  • a securing means having a radially discontinuous cylindrical shape includes radial edges proximate the discontinuity that may define a gap there between. Alternatively, the radial edges may overlap.
  • the securing means may be a cuff that retains its shape when not worn, or a form fitting cuff that assumes a cylindrical shape when worn by a user.
  • the ball handling improvement device is comprised of two securing means 110 a and 110 b, one on either side of a resistance band and configured to secure a user's arm to the device.
  • Securing means may be constructed from any number of suitable materials, including, but not limited to, leather, plastic, vinyl, cloth, synthetic materials, carbon-fiber, or any combination thereof.
  • suitable materials including, but not limited to, leather, plastic, vinyl, cloth, synthetic materials, carbon-fiber, or any combination thereof.
  • securing means could be constructed from, and embodiments of the present invention are contemplated for use with securing means constructed from any suitable material.
  • the securing means may be further comprised of a sweat resistant material configured to absorb sweat and help prevent the securing means and resistance band from unwanted movement.
  • one or more band stabilizers 160 may be utilized to help retain a desired shape and form of the resistance band.
  • Band stabilizers may include, but are not limited to, one or more of a tubing, one or more rings, a band wrapping material, a protective casing or any combination thereof.
  • the band stabilizer may be a tubing configured to be maintained around the resistance band such that the resistance band maintains a substantially elongated oval shape.
  • the stabilizer 160 may be slidable along the resistance band, or fixed to a segment of the resistance band.
  • motion components may include, but are not limited to, rotating rings, bushings, bearings, swivel clips, swivel snaps, or any combination thereof.
  • motion components are provided to allow a full or substantially full range of motion to arm(s) of the user to whom the ball handling improvement device is attached.
  • the motion component in conjunction with the securing means, may be detachable from the resistance band, allowing the motion component and/or the securing means to be utilized with resistance bands of varying resistance levels.
  • motion components such as rotating rings 140 a and 140 b, are used to connect the securing means 110 a and 110 b to the resistance band 150 .
  • a rotating ring is attached to opposite sides of the resistance band.
  • Each of the rotating rings is also attached to an anchor 170 a, 170 b on a corresponding cuff.
  • the anchor may be a loop integral with the outer surface of the cuff, or some other type of anchor upon which the ring may be hooked.
  • a locking collar 120 a, 120 b is wrapped around each cuff to help secure the cuff to a user's arm.
  • Each collar includes a buckle for securing the collar to a cuff and for retaining one of said rotating rings.
  • the buckle may connect the opposing radial edges.
  • the buckle may also be used to tighten the locking collar around the cuff.
  • the buckle is a pair of crossed elastic bands 130 a, 130 b extending through reinforced holes in the collar and cuff and across the gap between opposing radial edges of the cuff. The buckle thus connects the radial edges of the cuff and helps secure the cuff in place around a user's arm.
  • the buckle may be adjustable so as to reduce or expand the diameter of the cuff.
  • hook and loop closures may be used to connect the overlapping surfaces, such that each of the cuffs may be wrapped around a user's arm and secured thereto using the hook and loop closures ( FIGS. 4-5 ).
  • the cuffs 110 c, 110 d may be adjusted to accommodate the size of a user's arms.
  • the securing means may be form fitting continuous arm bands.
  • the form fitting arm bands may be made of a material that comfortably conforms to the shape of a user's arm when worn.
  • a method of improving an individual's ball handling skills through use of a ball handling improvement device 100 includes the steps of: (1) attaching a cuff of a ball handling improvement device to each of a user's arm, preferably the forearm; and (2) dribbling a ball, wherein the user dribbles the ball between the user's hands while the device is attached to the user's forearms.
  • the user handles a ball in some other manner besides dribbling, such as passing, throwing, or catching a ball.
  • FIGS. 1-3 an exemplary embodiment of the present invention is shown.
  • a resistance band 150 is shown, with a band stabilizer 160 encircling a middle portion of the resistance band 150 and a securing means 110 , 110 b attached to either end of the resistance band 150 by a rotating connection ring 140 a, 140 b. More particularly, the rings are connected to respective crossed elastic band buckles 130 a, 130 b.
  • FIG. 3 shows a front perspective view of the ball handling improvement device of FIG. 1 .
  • FIGS. 4-5 show an embodiment of the invention in which cuffs 110 c and 110 d have hook and loop closures.
  • the rotating rings 140 a, 140 b are hooked around anchors 170 a, 170 b on the cuffs.
  • Certain embodiments of the present invention may be used to improve the speed, power and control of a basketball player's ball handling skills, through toning, strengthening and providing muscle memory improvements to the muscles of the basketball player.
  • Other embodiments may be utilized by players of any sport that would benefit from similar strengthening, toning and muscle memory improvements provided by the ball handling improvement device.
  • Embodiments of the present invention may cater to the improvement of a basketball players ball handling by simply attaching each cuff to the opposite forearm, beginning to dribble and allow the device to strengthen and tone the player's muscles.
  • the ball handling improvement device may further include one or more computing means.
  • Computing means may be configured to provide one or more additional services to users of the ball handling improvement device.
  • the computing means may include one or more of a processor, a memory (e.g., RAM, ROM), a storage medium (e.g., flash memory), a circuit board, a sensor (e.g., timer, resistance sensor, repetition counter, accelerometer), an output means (e.g., speaker, display, touchscreen, force feedback component) and a series of computerized instructions for instructing the computing means to take one or more specified actions.
  • the computing means could be configured to provide users with relevant information related to their training and performance, including, but not limited to, duration of workout, correctness of form, accuracy information, speed information or any combination thereof.
  • the computing means could further be configured with a communications means configured to allow the computing means to transmit and/or receive information, such as information related to workouts and progress. Such information could be transmitted and stored on one or more remote computing devices, such as a smartphone, laptop, tablet PC, desktop or web based computing system.
  • Communications means may include, but are not limited to, wireless communications means (e.g., Bluetooth, Wifi, CDMA, GSM, 3G, 4G), wired communications means (e.g., Ethernet, USB, HDMI, firewire, thunderbolt) or any combination thereof.
  • the data provided to a remote computing device can be utilized immediately to aide and assist the user of the ball handling improvement device.
  • Such data could be, for instance, transmitted to a mobile computing device (e.g., smartphone) of the user, where the mobile computing device includes a complimentary software application that can receive data and provide output (e.g., audio via a speaker on the smartphone, video data via display element on the smartphone, text via display element on the smartphone) related to the use of the ball handling improvement device.
  • the computing means of the ball handling improvement device may be configured to provide corrective feedback in the form of visual or audio feedback data.
  • This feedback data will be provided to correct flaws on every dribble and can be processed and provided in real-time or near real-time (e.g., latency in milliseconds).
  • real-time or near real-time feedback players can quickly learn how to adjust mechanics or address flaws with objective data provided from the device.
  • the computing means can provide information to a remote computing device (e.g., smartphone containing a software application) and the remote computing device can adjust and provide directed workout information to a player as the player improves and increases in skill difficulty level, from playground up to pro level.
  • a remote computing device e.g., smartphone containing a software application
  • Player using the ball handling improvement device begin at the “Playground” level and work through a choice of ball-handling, shooting, or total player workouts, each provided by the software application integrated onto the remote computing device. Each level adds new drills and more difficult metrics to move onto the next level.
  • the ball handling improvement device can measure skill level via its integrated sensors (preferably in conjunction with an application on a remote computing device) and suggest ways for the user of the ball handling improvement device to improve.
  • the computing means inside the ball handling improvement device could, for instance, count dribbles, dribble force, speed, for whatever skill the player wants to improve.
  • Data regarding the skill level and effectiveness could be visually or audibly provided to the user via a display element on the remote computing device with a compatible software application.
  • the computing means of multiple ball handling improvement devices may provide data to one or more remote computing devices which Automatically process real-time or near real-time scoring and leaderboards determine the winner for up to five players.
  • a software application on a remote computing device will allow the users to pick from one or more competitive games available and then record performance of each of the players across a selected number of drills (e.g., 5 drills, 10 drills, 50 drills) to see which player has the best skills.
  • the application could provide games based on seeing who can get the most dribbles in 20 seconds, or allow for the earning of bonus points for players who can dribble fast with dribble power.
  • the application could provide current leaderboards, display winners and provide historical win-loss standings.
  • the application could also allow for the addition of “headstart” points to provide a handicap and make things interesting between age groups or various skill levels.
  • the computing means could allow for providing of data to a remote computing device to allow for tracking of daily and all-time bests. This allows players to sets goals for any number of drills and competitions. Players can let small successes every day lead to long-term achievement.
  • the application on the remote computing device could further allow players to review various metrics about current workout performance, past performance or historical performance, including: distance calculation, moves combinations, pace times, dribble count, dribble rate, distance-per-handle and calories burned.
  • the ball handling improvement device in conjunction with a remote computing device may allow for a training method that allows users to develop skills used by their favorite players.
  • the computing device may distinguish between different dribbling combinations and have the identify certain ball handles and compare these handles to moves used by the user's favorite players (e.g., professional players).
  • the computing means may be configured to receive information for use with the ball handling improvement device, such as workout information, workout drills, voice messages to encourage user during utilization of the device or any combination thereof.
  • information for use with the ball handling improvement device such as workout information, workout drills, voice messages to encourage user during utilization of the device or any combination thereof.

Abstract

The present invention generally relates to sports training devices. Specifically, this invention relates to a device for improving the speed, power and control behind one or more ball handling skills, affected through the use of one or more resistance bands and two or more securing cuffs/means. Certain embodiments of the present invention may be used to improve the speed, power and control of a basketball player's ball handling skills, through toning, strengthening and providing muscle memory improvements to the muscles of the basketball player. Other embodiments may be utilized by players of any sport that would benefit from similar strengthening, toning and muscle memory improvements provided by the ball handling improvement device.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims the benefit of the following provisional applications, each of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety: U.S. Pat. App. No. 61/812,940 filed on Apr. 17, 2013 and entitled “BALL HANDLING IMPROVEMENT DEVICE.”
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention generally relates to sports training devices. Specifically, this invention relates to a device for improving the speed, power and control behind one or more ball handling skills, affected through the use of one or more resistance bands and two or more securing cuffs/means. Certain embodiments of the present invention may be used to improve the speed, power and control of a basketball player's ball handling skills, through toning, strengthening and providing muscle memory improvements to the muscles of the basketball player. Other embodiments may be utilized by players of any sport that would benefit from similar strengthening, toning and muscle memory improvements provided by the ball handling improvement device.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a ball handling improvement device, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 shows a top view of the ball handling improvement device of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 shows a front perspective view of the ball handling improvement device of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of the ball handling improvement device of FIG. 1, in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 5 shows a top perspective view of the ball handling improvement device of FIG. 4.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Basketball players looking to enhance their dribbling and ball handling skills have limited resources to do so. Their most common options are a combination of spending long periods of time in traditional ball handling drills or practicing with weighted basketballs. These methods often require use of a basketball court, gym, or other facility to conduct the drills. Gaining access to such facilities however can be difficult, especially for long periods of time.
  • In addition, the idea of spending long periods of time engaged in ball handling drills or practicing with weighted basketballs can be unappealing, especially if the player has to travel a long distance to get to a practice location. There is therefore a need for a convenient device to help players develop and improve their ball dribbling and handling skills in almost any setting.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • Accordingly, embodiments of the present invention are directed to a ball dribbling improvement device that provides improved muscle strength in the arms and increases dribbling speed, power and control. The device further aids in preventing injury by strengthening the muscles involved in dribbling, passing, and catching a ball.
  • According to an embodiment of the present invention, the ball handling improvement device includes a pair of opposing cuffs connected by a resistance band, where the cuffs are configured to be worn on a user's arms. Rotating connection rings connect the cuffs to opposite sides of the resistance band. A band stabilizer sleeve is wrapped around at least a portion of the resistance band, disposed between the cuffs and slidable between the rotating rings.
  • During normal use of the device, a user places a cuff on each forearm and handles/dribbles a ball. The resistance band provides a resistance force while the user is dribbling a ball from hand to hand. The rotating rings and stabilizer sleeve allow the user to move their arms in a variety of motions without interference from the resistance band. However, added versatility of movement may be added by interposing a clip or secondary ring between each connecting ring and its corresponding cuff.
  • According to an embodiment of the present invention, a locking collar is wrapped around each cuff to help secure the cuff to a user's forearm. The locking collar includes a buckle for closing the collar around its respective cuff and securing it thereto. In this embodiment, the buckle may also serve as retention means for a rotating connection ring.
  • According to another embodiment of the present invention, the cuffs include hook and loop closures such that each of said cuffs may be wrapped around a user's arm and secured thereto using the hook and loop closures.
  • According to another embodiment of the present invention, the cuffs are form fitting arm bands. An arm band cuff may be made from an elastic material that conforms to the size of a user's arm.
  • According to an embodiment of the present invention, the ball dribbling improvement device may include a clip or secondary ring interposed between the connecting ring and its corresponding cuff. For example, the clip may be attached to the rotating ring on one side and collar buckle on the other side. The clip or secondary ring may allow a user greater arm motion versatility without interference from the resistance band.
  • According to an embodiment of the present invention, there is provided a method of improving the characteristics of an individual's ball handling skills through use of a ball handling improvement device comprising the steps of: (1) a user attaching a cuff of a ball handling improvement device to each forearm; and (2) dribbling a ball, wherein the ball is dribbled from hand-to-hand while the device is attached to the user's forearms. Other ball handling skills besides dribbling may also be practiced while wearing the device.
  • The foregoing summary of the present invention with the preferred embodiments should not be construed to limit the scope of the invention. It should be understood and obvious to one skilled in the art that the embodiments of the invention thus described may be further modified without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
  • DETAILED SPECIFICATION
  • The present invention generally relates to sports training devices. Specifically, this invention relates to a device 100 for improving the speed, power and control of handling or dribbling a ball, affected through use of one or more resistance bands and two or more securing cuffs/means. Preferred embodiments of the present invention may further include one or more rotating rings or other motion components and one or more band stabilizers (See, FIGS. 1 and 2).
  • According to an embodiment of the present invention, the resistance band 150 is comprised of a band of elastic material that provides a predetermined level of resistance when the band is extended to the edges of its elasticity. Each resistance band may have a specified level of resistance, with the stiffer bands generally providing higher resistance than resistance bands that are more elastic. In one embodiment, the resistance band is a 10 inch quad strap resistance band. One of ordinary skill in the art would appreciate that resistance bands that could be used with embodiments of the present invention could be constructed from any number of materials and at any level of elasticity, and embodiments of the present invention are contemplated for use with resistance bands of any elasticity and construction material.
  • According to an embodiment of the present invention, the resistance band is attached to one or more securing means. The securing means may include, but are not limited to, a cuff, a locking collar, a hook and loop cuff, a hoop, an arm band or any others appropriate means for securing one end of a resistance band to a portion of an arm of the user of the ball handling improvement device as described herein.
  • Furthermore, the securing means may have a cylindrical shape configured to be fastened around a user's arm and may be radially continuous or discontinuous. A securing means having a radially discontinuous cylindrical shape includes radial edges proximate the discontinuity that may define a gap there between. Alternatively, the radial edges may overlap. One of ordinary skill will appreciate that the securing means may be a cuff that retains its shape when not worn, or a form fitting cuff that assumes a cylindrical shape when worn by a user.
  • One of ordinary skill in the art would appreciate that there are numerous securing means that could be utilized with embodiments of the present invention, and embodiments of the present invention are contemplated for use with any appropriate securing means. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the ball handling improvement device is comprised of two securing means 110 a and 110 b, one on either side of a resistance band and configured to secure a user's arm to the device. Securing means may be constructed from any number of suitable materials, including, but not limited to, leather, plastic, vinyl, cloth, synthetic materials, carbon-fiber, or any combination thereof. One of ordinary skill in the art would appreciate that there are numerous materials the securing means could be constructed from, and embodiments of the present invention are contemplated for use with securing means constructed from any suitable material.
  • According to an embodiment of the present invention, the securing means may be further comprised of a sweat resistant material configured to absorb sweat and help prevent the securing means and resistance band from unwanted movement.
  • According to an embodiment of the present invention, one or more band stabilizers 160 may be utilized to help retain a desired shape and form of the resistance band. Band stabilizers may include, but are not limited to, one or more of a tubing, one or more rings, a band wrapping material, a protective casing or any combination thereof. In a preferred embodiment, the band stabilizer may be a tubing configured to be maintained around the resistance band such that the resistance band maintains a substantially elongated oval shape. Further, the stabilizer 160 may be slidable along the resistance band, or fixed to a segment of the resistance band. One of ordinary skill in the art would appreciate that there are numerous types of band stabilizers that may be utilized with embodiments of the present invention, and embodiments of the present invention are contemplated for use with any type of band stabilizer.
  • According to an embodiment of the present invention, one or more motion components may be utilized. Motion components may include, but are not limited to, rotating rings, bushings, bearings, swivel clips, swivel snaps, or any combination thereof. One of ordinary skill in the art would appreciate that there are numerous types of motion components that could be utilized with embodiments of the present invention, and embodiments of the present invention are contemplated for use with any type of motion components. In preferred embodiments, motion components are provided to allow a full or substantially full range of motion to arm(s) of the user to whom the ball handling improvement device is attached. In certain embodiments, the motion component, in conjunction with the securing means, may be detachable from the resistance band, allowing the motion component and/or the securing means to be utilized with resistance bands of varying resistance levels.
  • In one embodiment, motion components, such as rotating rings 140 a and 140 b, are used to connect the securing means 110 a and 110 b to the resistance band 150. In this embodiment, a rotating ring is attached to opposite sides of the resistance band. Each of the rotating rings is also attached to an anchor 170 a, 170 b on a corresponding cuff. The anchor may be a loop integral with the outer surface of the cuff, or some other type of anchor upon which the ring may be hooked.
  • In another embodiment, a locking collar 120 a, 120 b is wrapped around each cuff to help secure the cuff to a user's arm. Each collar includes a buckle for securing the collar to a cuff and for retaining one of said rotating rings.
  • In an embodiment in which the cuff is radially discontinuous and a gap exists between its radial edges, the buckle may connect the opposing radial edges. The buckle may also be used to tighten the locking collar around the cuff. In one embodiment, the buckle is a pair of crossed elastic bands 130 a, 130 b extending through reinforced holes in the collar and cuff and across the gap between opposing radial edges of the cuff. The buckle thus connects the radial edges of the cuff and helps secure the cuff in place around a user's arm. One of ordinary skill will appreciate that there are many types of buckles that may be used to secure the collar to the cuff and connect the radial edges of the cuff. Furthermore, the buckle may be adjustable so as to reduce or expand the diameter of the cuff.
  • In an embodiment in which the radial edges of the cuffs overlap, hook and loop closures may be used to connect the overlapping surfaces, such that each of the cuffs may be wrapped around a user's arm and secured thereto using the hook and loop closures (FIGS. 4-5). In this embodiment, the cuffs 110 c, 110 d may be adjusted to accommodate the size of a user's arms.
  • Alternatively, the securing means may be form fitting continuous arm bands. In this embodiment, the form fitting arm bands may be made of a material that comfortably conforms to the shape of a user's arm when worn.
  • In another embodiment, a method of improving an individual's ball handling skills through use of a ball handling improvement device 100 is provided. The method includes the steps of: (1) attaching a cuff of a ball handling improvement device to each of a user's arm, preferably the forearm; and (2) dribbling a ball, wherein the user dribbles the ball between the user's hands while the device is attached to the user's forearms. In an alternative embodiment of the method, the user handles a ball in some other manner besides dribbling, such as passing, throwing, or catching a ball.
  • Turning now to FIGS. 1-3, an exemplary embodiment of the present invention is shown. In FIG. 2, a resistance band 150 is shown, with a band stabilizer 160 encircling a middle portion of the resistance band 150 and a securing means 110, 110 b attached to either end of the resistance band 150 by a rotating connection ring 140 a, 140 b. More particularly, the rings are connected to respective crossed elastic band buckles 130 a, 130 b.
  • FIG. 3 shows a front perspective view of the ball handling improvement device of FIG. 1. FIGS. 4-5 show an embodiment of the invention in which cuffs 110 c and 110 d have hook and loop closures. In this embodiment, the rotating rings 140 a, 140 b are hooked around anchors 170 a, 170 b on the cuffs.
  • Certain embodiments of the present invention may be used to improve the speed, power and control of a basketball player's ball handling skills, through toning, strengthening and providing muscle memory improvements to the muscles of the basketball player. Other embodiments may be utilized by players of any sport that would benefit from similar strengthening, toning and muscle memory improvements provided by the ball handling improvement device.
  • Embodiments of the present invention may cater to the improvement of a basketball players ball handling by simply attaching each cuff to the opposite forearm, beginning to dribble and allow the device to strengthen and tone the player's muscles.
  • According to an embodiment of the present invention, the ball handling improvement device may further include one or more computing means. Computing means may be configured to provide one or more additional services to users of the ball handling improvement device. For instance, the computing means may include one or more of a processor, a memory (e.g., RAM, ROM), a storage medium (e.g., flash memory), a circuit board, a sensor (e.g., timer, resistance sensor, repetition counter, accelerometer), an output means (e.g., speaker, display, touchscreen, force feedback component) and a series of computerized instructions for instructing the computing means to take one or more specified actions. The computing means could be configured to provide users with relevant information related to their training and performance, including, but not limited to, duration of workout, correctness of form, accuracy information, speed information or any combination thereof. The computing means could further be configured with a communications means configured to allow the computing means to transmit and/or receive information, such as information related to workouts and progress. Such information could be transmitted and stored on one or more remote computing devices, such as a smartphone, laptop, tablet PC, desktop or web based computing system. Communications means may include, but are not limited to, wireless communications means (e.g., Bluetooth, Wifi, CDMA, GSM, 3G, 4G), wired communications means (e.g., Ethernet, USB, HDMI, firewire, thunderbolt) or any combination thereof. The data provided to a remote computing device can be utilized immediately to aide and assist the user of the ball handling improvement device. Such data could be, for instance, transmitted to a mobile computing device (e.g., smartphone) of the user, where the mobile computing device includes a complimentary software application that can receive data and provide output (e.g., audio via a speaker on the smartphone, video data via display element on the smartphone, text via display element on the smartphone) related to the use of the ball handling improvement device.
  • Below are aspects of embodiments of the present invention incorporating a computing means in order to augment the aspects of the present invention.
  • Instant Feedback
  • The computing means of the ball handling improvement device may be configured to provide corrective feedback in the form of visual or audio feedback data. This feedback data will be provided to correct flaws on every dribble and can be processed and provided in real-time or near real-time (e.g., latency in milliseconds). By giving real-time or near real-time feedback, players can quickly learn how to adjust mechanics or address flaws with objective data provided from the device.
  • Adaptive Workouts
  • The computing means can provide information to a remote computing device (e.g., smartphone containing a software application) and the remote computing device can adjust and provide directed workout information to a player as the player improves and increases in skill difficulty level, from playground up to pro level. Player using the ball handling improvement device begin at the “Playground” level and work through a choice of ball-handling, shooting, or total player workouts, each provided by the software application integrated onto the remote computing device. Each level adds new drills and more difficult metrics to move onto the next level.
  • Develop Ball Handling Skills at Your Own Pace
  • Whatever skill is most important for the player, the ball handling improvement device can measure skill level via its integrated sensors (preferably in conjunction with an application on a remote computing device) and suggest ways for the user of the ball handling improvement device to improve. The computing means inside the ball handling improvement device could, for instance, count dribbles, dribble force, speed, for whatever skill the player wants to improve. Data regarding the skill level and effectiveness could be visually or audibly provided to the user via a display element on the remote computing device with a compatible software application.
  • Head to Head Competition
  • The computing means of multiple ball handling improvement devices may provide data to one or more remote computing devices which Automatically process real-time or near real-time scoring and leaderboards determine the winner for up to five players. In a preferred embodiment, a software application on a remote computing device will allow the users to pick from one or more competitive games available and then record performance of each of the players across a selected number of drills (e.g., 5 drills, 10 drills, 50 drills) to see which player has the best skills. For instance, the application could provide games based on seeing who can get the most dribbles in 20 seconds, or allow for the earning of bonus points for players who can dribble fast with dribble power. The application could provide current leaderboards, display winners and provide historical win-loss standings. The application could also allow for the addition of “headstart” points to provide a handicap and make things interesting between age groups or various skill levels.
  • See Your Progress
  • The computing means could allow for providing of data to a remote computing device to allow for tracking of daily and all-time bests. This allows players to sets goals for any number of drills and competitions. Players can let small successes every day lead to long-term achievement.
  • The application on the remote computing device could further allow players to review various metrics about current workout performance, past performance or historical performance, including: distance calculation, moves combinations, pace times, dribble count, dribble rate, distance-per-handle and calories burned.
  • Dribbling Moves and Type Recognition
  • In certain embodiments, the ball handling improvement device, in conjunction with a remote computing device may allow for a training method that allows users to develop skills used by their favorite players. The computing device may distinguish between different dribbling combinations and have the identify certain ball handles and compare these handles to moves used by the user's favorite players (e.g., professional players).
  • In certain embodiments, the computing means may be configured to receive information for use with the ball handling improvement device, such as workout information, workout drills, voice messages to encourage user during utilization of the device or any combination thereof.
  • While multiple embodiments are disclosed, still other embodiments of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from this detailed description. The invention is capable of myriad modifications in various obvious aspects, all without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the drawings and descriptions are to be regarded as illustrative in nature and not restrictive.

Claims (15)

1. A ball handling improvement device comprising:
a resistance band;
two securing means, one on each opposite side of said resistance band;
rotating rings connecting said securing means to said resistance band;
a band stabilizer wrapped around a segment of said resistance band, wherein said stabilizer is disposed between said cuffs and is slidable between said cuffs,
wherein during normal use of the device, a user places a securing means on each arm and handles a ball.
2. The ball handling improvement device of claim 1, wherein the securing means is a cuff
3. The ball handling improvement device of claim 2, wherein each of said rotating rings is connected to a respective cuff by hooking said rotating ring through an anchor on said cuff.
4. The ball handling improvement device of claim 2, wherein each of said cuffs are discontinuous and define a gap between opposing radial edges of said cuffs.
5. The ball handling improvement device of claim 4, further comprising a locking collar wrapped around each cuff, wherein said locking collar helps secure the cuff to a user's arm.
6. The ball handling improvement device of claim 5, wherein each collar comprises a buckle for securing said collar to said cuff and for retaining one of said rotating rings.
7. The ball handling improvement device of claim 7, wherein said buckle comprises a pair of crossed elastic bands extending through holes in said collar and said cuff and across the gap between said opposing radial edges of said cuff.
8. The ball handling improvement device of claim 2, wherein said cuffs comprise hook and loop closures, such that each of said cuffs may be wrapped around a user's arm and secured thereto using said hook and loop closures.
9. The ball handling improvement device of claim 2, wherein said cuffs are form fitting.
10. The ball handling improvement device of claim 2, wherein said cuffs are made from a sweat resistant material.
11. The ball handling improvement device of claim 2, wherein said cuffs are adjustable.
12. The ball handling improvement device of claim 1, wherein said device is configured to strengthen the tendons and muscles in the arms and increase dribble speed, power and control.
13. The ball handling improvement device of claim 1, wherein the resistance band is a 10 inch quad strap resistance band.
14. The ball handling improvement device of claim 1, wherein said rotating rings comprise are attached to one or more bushings, bearings, swivel clips, swivel snaps, or any combination thereof.
15. A method of improving the characteristics of an individual's ball handling skills through use of a ball handling improvement device comprising the steps of:
a user attaching a cuff of a ball handling improvement device to each of their forearms;
dribbling a ball, wherein the ball is dribbled between the user's hands while the device is attached to the user's forearms.
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STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

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