US20150297969A1 - Solo-Play Tennis Practice Apparatus and Method - Google Patents

Solo-Play Tennis Practice Apparatus and Method Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20150297969A1
US20150297969A1 US14/705,812 US201514705812A US2015297969A1 US 20150297969 A1 US20150297969 A1 US 20150297969A1 US 201514705812 A US201514705812 A US 201514705812A US 2015297969 A1 US2015297969 A1 US 2015297969A1
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
mesh
tennis
frame
user
tennis ball
Prior art date
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
Application number
US14/705,812
Inventor
Joe E. Flis
Original Assignee
Joe E. Flis
Priority date (The priority date 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 date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US201461990041P priority Critical
Application filed by Joe E. Flis filed Critical Joe E. Flis
Priority to US14/705,812 priority patent/US20150297969A1/en
Publication of US20150297969A1 publication Critical patent/US20150297969A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

Links

Images

Classifications

    • 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
    • A63B69/0097Ball rebound walls
    • 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
    • A63B69/38Training appliances or apparatus for special sports for tennis
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B71/00Games or sports accessories not covered in groups A63B1/00 - A63B69/00
    • A63B71/02Games or sports accessories not covered in groups A63B1/00 - A63B69/00 for large-room or outdoor sporting games
    • A63B71/023Supports, e.g. poles
    • A63B2071/026Supports, e.g. poles stabilised by weight
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2208/00Characteristics or parameters related to the user or player
    • A63B2208/02Characteristics or parameters related to the user or player posture
    • A63B2208/0204Standing on the feet
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2210/00Space saving
    • A63B2210/50Size reducing arrangements for stowing or transport
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2225/00Miscellaneous features of sport apparatus, devices or equipment
    • A63B2225/09Adjustable dimensions
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2225/00Miscellaneous features of sport apparatus, devices or equipment
    • A63B2225/09Adjustable dimensions
    • A63B2225/093Height

Abstract

A portable apparatus and related method for practicing tennis, comprising: a frame substantially fixed in a substantially vertical orientation; and a mesh mounted to the frame, disposed in a substantially vertical plane, and pulled taut in relation to the frame to a user-determined tension; wherein: the structural combination of the frame, the mesh and the tension of the mesh in relation to the frame enables a tennis ball striking against the mesh to rebound from the mesh in the manner of a trampoline rebound; whereby: a user of the apparatus can practice tennis, alone, in any environment, with minimal noise, by hitting the tennis ball into the mesh, and thereafter successively hitting rebounds from the mesh back into the mesh, at will. This enables a person to practice tennis, alone, in any environment, with minimal noise, at will.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims benefit of pending provisional application U.S. 61/990,041 filed May 7, 2014, which is hereby incorporated by reference.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Tennis is a very popular sport. But tennis clubs are expensive, and there are not many environments with the requisite facilities for someone to practice at will. It is desirable to have available a portable apparatus and related method which enables a person to practice tennis, alone, in any environment, with minimal noise, in limited space, at will.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • Solo play™ is a portable, adjustable, lightweight, silent tennis backboard substitute, and is in the nature of a vertically-oriented trampoline for the tennis ball. It is like practicing with a silent opponent.
  • The mesh trampoline can be fabricated in different sizes from 4-8 feet long by 3-7 feet high, or more. The mesh may be a polyester or other similar material.
  • The device has a telescopic frame. The frame may be adjusted to increase or decrease the tension of the screen mesh so the tennis balls can be rebounded faster or slower. No matter how hard one hits the ball, whether soft or hard, the trampoline is quiet when the ball strikes. The ball bounces off from 3 to 5 feet from the apparatus, depending on the mesh tension. The more the tension, the further the ball bounces back. For a given tension, each rebound is at substantially the same rate.
  • The apparatus is excellent for practicing tennis strokes, top spin, timing, and hand-eye and ball coordination.
  • The invention disclosed is a portable apparatus and related method for practicing tennis, comprising: a frame substantially fixed in a substantially vertical orientation; and a mesh mounted to the frame, disposed in a substantially vertical plane, and pulled taut in relation to the frame to a user-determined tension; wherein: the structural combination of the frame, the mesh and the tension of the mesh in relation to the frame enables a tennis ball striking against the mesh to rebound from the mesh in the manner of a trampoline rebound; whereby: a user of the apparatus can practice tennis, alone, in any environment, with minimal noise, by hitting the tennis ball into the mesh, and thereafter successively hitting rebounds from the mesh back into the mesh, at will. This enables a person to practice tennis, alone, in any environment, with minimal noise, at will.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The features of the invention believed to be novel are set forth in the appended claims.
  • The invention, however, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings/photographs summarized below.
  • FIG. 1 shows the apparatus with the framing assembled, before trampoline mesh has been pulled taut.
  • FIG. 2 shows the apparatus with the framing assembled, after the trampoline mesh has been pulled taut.
  • FIG. 3 shows the apparatus prior to assembly of the framing.
  • FIG. 4 shows a portion of the framing, and some illustrative attachments used to secure the mesh to the framing. It also shows the footings use to maintain the apparatus in an upright configuration.
  • FIG. 5 shows another portion of the framing, and some illustrative attachments used to secure the mesh to the framing.
  • FIG. 6 shows the fully assembled apparatus with the mesh pulled taut.
  • FIG. 7 shows the fully assembled apparatus with the mesh pulled taut while in use.
  • FIG. 8 shows a close-up view of an exemplary device use to connect two sections of framing.
  • FIG. 9 shows a close-up view of an upper corner of the assembled framing.
  • FIG. 10 shows a close-up view of a lower corner of the assembled framing.
  • FIG. 11 shows a schematic front view (the user's view) of a framing configuration for an alternative embodiment designed to cause additional inward angling of a returned tennis ball near the edges of the mesh.
  • FIG. 12 shows a schematic side view of the configuration of FIG. 11 from the view designated as 12-12.
  • FIG. 13 shows a second alternative embodiment of a framing configuration and mesh designed to cause additional upward angling of a returned tennis ball near the top of the mesh, as well as a feature for easily adjusting the tension of the mesh to control the mean distance of the return of the tennis ball.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • The drawings contain some photos of the solo play tennis practice apparatus, collapsed and expanded, and in use, as developed for experimental testing. This is an exemplary embodiment, and should not be regarded as limiting in any way.
  • FIG. 1 shows the apparatus with the framing assembled, before trampoline mesh has been pulled taut.
  • FIG. 2 shows the apparatus with the framing assembled, after the trampoline mesh has been pulled taut.
  • FIG. 3 shows the apparatus prior to assembly of the framing.
  • FIG. 4 shows a portion of the framing, and some of the attachments used to secure the mesh to the framing. It also shows the footings use to maintain the device in an upright configuration, though this is illustrative, not limiting. The apparatus can also be hung, for example, from a fence or a tree.
  • FIG. 5 shows another portion of the framing, and some of the illustrative attachments used to secure the mesh to the framing.
  • FIG. 6 shows the fully assembled apparatus with the mesh pulled taut, and a tennis ball about the strike the apparatus.
  • FIG. 7 shows the fully assembled apparatus with the mesh pulled taut while in use. The tennis ball has just struck and started to rebound from the trampoline mesh.
  • FIG. 8 shows a close-up view of an exemplary device use to connect two sections of framing.
  • FIG. 9 shows a close-up view of an upper corner of the assembled framing.
  • FIG. 10 shows a close-up view of a lower corner of the assembled framing.
  • Although the framing in the photos is shown to be straight, a parabolic or other conic or other curved framing can be used to create a convex curvature for the mesh. In this configuration, no matter what the angle at which the ball strikes the screen mesh, the ball will rebound right back to the locale ate which the player is standing. The overall framing as viewed from the user's perspective may be square, rectangular, round, or any other suitable shape. The framing and attached mesh are substantially vertical, though embodiments with a mild tilt away from the user (so as to lift the ball slightly upon rebound) are envisioned within the scope of the disclosure and associated claims.
  • In an alternative embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12, the framing can be designed with angled peripheral sections 3 to cause additional inward angling of the mesh near the edges of the mesh. One way to embody this is to employ both an outer frame 1 and an inner frame 2, with each frame having a periphery, with the outer frame spanning 360 degrees and the inner frame spanning all or a portion of 360 degrees, with the outer frame periphery enclosing the inner frame periphery as viewed by the user as seen in FIG. 11, and with the inner frame periphery being fixed behind the outer frame periphery, i.e., with the inner frame further from the user than the outer frame, also as viewed by the user.
  • So the bottom of the mesh would be angled upwards, the sides of the mesh would be angled inwards, and the top of the mesh would be angled downwards, all while the central area of the mesh remains substantially perpendicular to the location of the person using the device. Some or all of the top, bottom and side mesh regions may be angled in this fashion. Thus, a ball hitting along the edges 3 would not merely reflect, but would be redirected. Sometimes the mesh returns the ball in the form of an overhead shot, and this configuration also adds spin to some of the returns from the mesh. This variation adds versatility and enhances the user experience because just as in a regular game of tennis, the ball is not returned by the opponent in the same way every time, but is returned in a variety of unpredictable ways which are at the heart of what makes tennis an interesting and challenging game. Also, if the edges of the mesh cause the ball to be redirected on the return, this would implicitly tell the user that the user did not hit the center of the mesh, but hit one of the edges, thus helping the user adjust the precision of his or her shots. As with the illustrated embodiments, this can all be adjusted to bounce the ball faster or slower by adjusting the screen tension.
  • FIG. 13 illustrates yet another alternative embodiment, now with an upwardly-angled peripheral section along the upper edge of the mesh. Similarly to the inwardly-angled mesh sections shown in FIGS. 11 and 12, a tennis ball striking this upwardly-angled section will rebound differently than a tennis ball striking the central area of the mesh. Here, the tennis ball will rebound with greater loft (height) than a tennis ball striking the central area of the mesh. This, of course, simulates a high tennis return from an opponent.
  • It will also be observed at the very highest portion of the mesh in FIG. 13, the mesh is mounted over a top horizontal mesh-support bar, and then curls downward as one moves to the back of the framing. There are two aspects to this configuration which are important to appreciate. First, there are several mounting positions along the top horizontally-disposed bars of the framing between which horizontal mesh-support bar is perpendicularly-disposed. By the user mounting the mesh-support bar further toward the rear of the framing, the loft of a tennis ball striking the upwardly-angled section will be increased. Thus, the user is given control to adjust this loft angle at will.
  • Second, it will be observed that the rear, lowest extremum of the downward-curling mesh is also mounted to a back section of the framing. By lowering or raising the position of this lower-extremum frame mounting, the tension of the overall mesh is either increased or decreased, consequently yielding a longer or shorter rebound.
  • In general, it is desirable for the user to be able to adjust the mesh tension in order to control the mean rebound distance of the tennis ball. This particular way of controlling the mean rebound distance shown in FIG. 13 is intended to be exemplary, not limiting. Others of ordinary skill in the art will be able to develop equivalent ways of making this adjustment toward the same end, within the scope of this disclosure and its associated claims. What is generally disclosed by this aspect of FIG. 13 is having at least two different ways in which the mesh can be mounted to the frame by the user, at will, wherein the selection of each particular way of mounting the mesh to the frame varies the tension of the mesh relative to other ways of mounting the mesh to the frame, whereby the user is enabled to control a mean rebound distance of the tennis ball.
  • The disclosures of FIGS. 11, 12 and 13 will make clear that in general, whether inwardly- or outwardly-angled, the presence of at least one differently-angled peripheral mesh section along an edge of the mesh in relation to the central area of the mesh will cause variations in the direction at which the tennis ball rebounds toward the user depending upon where the tennis ball strikes the mesh, thereby simulating variable tennis returns from an opponent. In FIGS. 11 and 12 all four edges are inwardly-angled. In FIG. 13 the top section is upwardly angled to add loft. Combining such variable angling, and giving the user the ability to adjust this angling at will, in addition to giving the user the ability to adjust the mesh tension either globally or locally at will, provides an apparatus that can give a tennis aficionado many quiet hours of customized solo exercise and enjoyment in a limited space.
  • Applicant has posted a photo of the FIG. 13 embodiment of the invention, and a video showing its use, at https://www.facebook.com/joe.flis.7?sk=wall. These are hereby incorporated by reference into this disclosure.
  • The knowledge possessed by someone of ordinary skill in the art at the time of this disclosure, including but not limited to the prior art disclosed with this application, is understood to be part and parcel of this disclosure and is implicitly incorporated by reference herein, even if in the interest of economy express statements about the specific knowledge understood to be possessed by someone of ordinary skill are omitted from this disclosure. While reference may be made in this disclosure to the invention comprising a combination of a plurality of elements, it is also understood that this invention is regarded to comprise combinations which omit or exclude one or more of such elements, even if this omission or exclusion of an element or elements is not expressly stated herein, unless it is expressly stated herein that an element is essential to applicant's combination and cannot be omitted. It is further understood that the related prior art may include elements from which this invention may be distinguished by negative claim limitations, even without any express statement of such negative limitations herein. It is to be understood, between the positive statements of applicant's invention expressly stated herein, and the prior art and knowledge of the prior art by those of ordinary skill which is incorporated herein even if not expressly reproduced here for reasons of economy, that any and all such negative claim limitations supported by the prior art are also considered to be within the scope of this disclosure and its associated claims, even absent any express statement herein about any particular negative claim limitations.
  • Finally, while only certain preferred features of the invention have been illustrated and described, many modifications, changes and substitutions will occur to those skilled in the art. It is, therefore, to be understood that the appended claims are intended to cover all such modifications and changes as fall within the true spirit of the invention.

Claims (12)

I claim:
1. A portable apparatus for practicing tennis simulating playing tennis with an opponent, comprising:
a frame substantially fixed in a substantially vertical orientation; and
a mesh mounted to said frame, thereby disposed in a substantially vertical plane, and pulled taut in relation to said frame to a user-determined tension; wherein:
the structural combination of said frame, said mesh and said tension of said mesh in relation to said frame enables a tennis ball striking against said mesh to rebound from said mesh in the manner of a trampoline rebound; whereby:
a user of said apparatus can practice tennis, alone, in a limited-space environment, with minimal noise, by hitting the tennis ball into said mesh, and thereafter successively hitting rebounds from said mesh back into said mesh, at will.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:
at least one inwardly-angled peripheral mesh section along an edge of said mesh,
wherein:
the structural combination of said inwardly-angled peripheral mesh section in relation to a central area of said mesh causes variations in the direction at which the tennis ball rebounds toward the user depending upon where the tennis ball strikes the mesh, thereby simulating variable tennis returns from an opponent.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:
an upwardly-angled peripheral mesh section along an upper edge of said mesh, wherein:
the structural combination of said upwardly-angled peripheral mesh section in relation to a central area of said mesh causes the tennis ball, when striking said upwardly-angled peripheral mesh section, to rebound toward the user with greater loft than when the tennis ball strikes a central area of said mesh, thereby simulating a high tennis return from an opponent.
4. The apparatus of claim 3, further comprising:
at least two mounting positions at which a top end of said mesh can be mounted to said frame, wherein the angle of said upwardly-angled peripheral mesh section varies in relation to the mounting position at which said top end of said mesh is mounted; whereby:
the user is enabled to adjust said loft at will.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:
at least two different ways in which said mesh can be mounted to said frame by the user, at will; wherein:
the selection of each particular way of mounting said mesh to said frame varies said tension of said mesh relative to other ways of mounting said mesh to said frame; whereby:
the user is enabled to adjust a mean rebound distance of the tennis ball.
6. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:
at least one differently-angled peripheral mesh section along an edge of said mesh, wherein:
the structural combination of said differently-angled peripheral mesh section in relation to a central area of said mesh causes variations in the direction at which the tennis ball rebounds toward the user depending upon where the tennis ball strikes the mesh, thereby simulating variable tennis returns from an opponent.
7. A method for practicing tennis, alone, in a limited-space environment, with minimal noise, comprising:
mounting a mesh to a frame substantially fixed in a substantially vertical orientation, said mesh thereby disposed in a substantially vertical plane;
pulling said mesh taut in relation to said frame to a user-determined tension; and
hitting a tennis ball into said mesh;
thereafter successively hitting rebounds from said mesh back into said mesh, at will;
wherein:
the tennis ball upon striking against said mesh rebound from said mesh in the manner of a trampoline rebound, thereby simulating playing tennis with an opponent.
8. The method of claim 7, further comprising:
inwardly-angling at least one peripheral mesh section along an edge of said mesh,
wherein:
the direction at which the tennis ball rebounds toward the user varies depending upon where the tennis ball strikes the mesh, thereby simulating variable tennis returns from an opponent.
9. The method of claim 7, further comprising:
upwardly-angling a peripheral mesh section along an upper edge of said mesh, wherein:
the tennis ball, when striking said upwardly-angled peripheral mesh section, rebounds toward the user with greater loft than when the tennis ball strikes a central area of said mesh, thereby simulating a high tennis return from an opponent.
10. The method of claim 9, further comprising user adjusting said loft at will by varying the angle of said upwardly-angled peripheral mesh section in relation to the mounting position at which said top end of said mesh is mounted, using at least two mounting positions at which a top end of said mesh can be mounted to said frame.
11. The method of claim 7, further comprising the user adjusting a mean rebound distance of the tennis ball at will by mounting said mesh to said frame in a particular way which varies said tension of said mesh relative to other ways of mounting said mesh to said frame, using at least two different ways in which said mesh can be mounted to said frame by the user.
12. The method of claim 7, further comprising:
simulating variable tennis returns from an opponent by varying the direction at which the tennis ball rebounds toward the user depending upon where the tennis ball strikes the mesh, using at least one differently-angled peripheral mesh section along an edge of said mesh.
US14/705,812 2014-05-07 2015-05-06 Solo-Play Tennis Practice Apparatus and Method Abandoned US20150297969A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US201461990041P true 2014-05-07 2014-05-07
US14/705,812 US20150297969A1 (en) 2014-05-07 2015-05-06 Solo-Play Tennis Practice Apparatus and Method

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US14/705,812 US20150297969A1 (en) 2014-05-07 2015-05-06 Solo-Play Tennis Practice Apparatus and Method

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20150297969A1 true US20150297969A1 (en) 2015-10-22

Family

ID=54321132

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US14/705,812 Abandoned US20150297969A1 (en) 2014-05-07 2015-05-06 Solo-Play Tennis Practice Apparatus and Method

Country Status (1)

Country Link
US (1) US20150297969A1 (en)

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN110523065A (en) * 2019-08-29 2019-12-03 马小军 A kind of tennis ball hitting route training method and electronics target and mechanical target
USD884098S1 (en) * 2018-09-19 2020-05-12 Toca Football, Inc. Goal apparatus

Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3711092A (en) * 1971-02-23 1973-01-16 Whale Enterprises Inc Ball rebounding means

Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3711092A (en) * 1971-02-23 1973-01-16 Whale Enterprises Inc Ball rebounding means

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
USD884098S1 (en) * 2018-09-19 2020-05-12 Toca Football, Inc. Goal apparatus
CN110523065A (en) * 2019-08-29 2019-12-03 马小军 A kind of tennis ball hitting route training method and electronics target and mechanical target

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US9149707B2 (en) Ball hitting teacher
US8029389B2 (en) Ball-hitting trainer
US7547260B2 (en) Batting cage
US7070520B1 (en) Sports training device for hitting a ball
JP6818044B2 (en) Return device and system
US9931555B1 (en) Training system for basketball player training
US9889360B1 (en) Baseball swing training apparatus
US20130072327A1 (en) Rebound Screen
US6322461B1 (en) Baseball pitching target
US20150297969A1 (en) Solo-Play Tennis Practice Apparatus and Method
US7874931B2 (en) Inflatable type golf swing training apparatus
BG2320U1 (en) SPORTS APPROACH, IN PARTICULAR TO IMPROVE FOOTBALLIS TECHNICAL SKILLS
GB2536890A (en) Ball training apparatus and facilitating devices
US20140031147A1 (en) Footballmaster
US20110201457A1 (en) Sports Stations
US7163474B1 (en) Portable backstop and sport equipment set, baseball related game, and playing field
US20140066230A1 (en) Tennis Training Apparatus
WO2007135456A1 (en) Target
US7108610B1 (en) Swing training device
US20090075764A1 (en) Target for throwing a target at
US9393474B2 (en) Catch net system for training ball release
US20180126242A1 (en) An Improved Tee for Ball Sports
US20180036615A1 (en) Baseball hitting tee
US20160136498A1 (en) Adjustable slope sports backboard training device
KR20110129684A (en) Structure for golf training

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO RESPOND TO AN OFFICE ACTION