Sports Training Device with Motion Detecting Randomized Play Display.
A training device for sports includes a base that supports a lower portion that adjusts in height. The lower portion supports an upper portion. The upper portion includes a display that displays a desired play. The device further includes a first sensor having a sensing range. When a player enters the sensing range, the first sensor signals the display to display the desired instruction, play, command or similar. A second sensor measures reaction time when the player enters the sensing range and then leaves the sensing range.
The present application claims benefit under 35 USC Section 119(e) of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/871,857 filed on 2013 Aug. 29: The present application is based on and claims priority from this application, the disclosure of which is hereby expressly incorporated herein by reference.FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention generally relates to sports training devices. More particularly, the present invention relates to a sports training system, device, and method that present a visual or audible (or both) play instruction when approached by an athlete or player. The present invention further relates to such devices, systems, and methods that remain relatively stationary relative to a moving athlete or player and do not require the athlete or player to wear specialized equipment, but rather rely on motion or other proximity sensors located on the device to determine when an athlete or player approaches the device.BACKGROUND
Players and athletes participating in most sports are required to move their arms, hands, and feet or otherwise hold or move parts of their body in particular ways. This is particularly true in motion sports like basketball, lacrosse, American football, soccer, polo, and rugby, for example, where many players are on the field (or court) at once and the precise positioning and movement of the players are in constant flux and cannot always be predicted or easily simulated in training. In these types of sports it is very important for the player to instantly analyze the situation, determine where teammates and opponents are on the field, and simultaneously decide the best play to make in that given instant. Because of this complexity coaches have a particularly difficult time training players, especially newer players, to make a particular play at a particular time. Therefore, a system, device, and method that can train a player to quickly read the situation, recognize it, and then react quickly to a complicated and dynamic situation would be advantageous.
Further, such a device should not only simulate initiation of a particular play at a particular time, the device should also provide a physical barrier to the athlete-in-training to encourage proper form and technique when executing the play or shot for which the athlete is training.
Some prior-art attempts to automatically instruct an athlete to train a particular way include vibration devices and alarms in shoes, as described by Matlock in U.S. Pat. No. 6,270,432. Matlock teaches a tennis training-shoe that contains a removable alarm that alerts when the wearer's heel touches the ground and is used to train tennis players to stay on the balls of their feet and thus stay “light on their feet” and otherwise alert the player not to rest the heel on the ground. However, this device gives no visual indication of proper movement nor does it provide instructions to the player in a dynamic or random way. Further, Matlock does not provide a physical barrier to the athlete.
Menalagha et al., in U.S. Pat. No. 8,043,173 (issued 2011 Oct. 25) teaches a training system used in sports or other training where a participant wears a device with a visual indicator such as a device emitting colored light and an optional signaling device like a vibrator or beeper.
Other examples of training device that require modifications to the shoe of the wearer include U.S. Pat. No. 6,315,571, which teaches a training slipper for dance that buzzes or plays music and can be instructed by an instructor to signal to the dancer. Cherdakin in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,343,445 and 5,452,269 teaches an athletic shoe that includes a timing device for measuring the amount of time the shoe is off the ground in the air. Norment in U.S. Pat. No. 5,530,626 teaches an athletic shoe that can generate and broadcast an audible signal in the form of music or a message. However, None of the prior art devices provide a method where a coach can train a participant or player to move a certain way such as left, right, forward and backward, or train the player to keep the feet or other body parts moving or in a particular position that allows self-correction.
Another aspect of known training devices is the use of a simulated opponent or a physical representation of a defender that is blocking a shot or otherwise impeding progress or movement. Examples include basketball-training device that includes visual and physical barriers arranged to block, obstruct, or otherwise impede the player's shot at the hoop. Similarly, in other sports like soccer, hockey, and Lacrosse where the goal includes an oversized net, there are known devices that act as a barrier to block most of the net, leaving open only a small, difficult-to-make, but highly likely to result in score portion of the goal—such as the four corners of the goal. However, these “defenders” do not include any means for instructing an approaching player where to shoot or what type of shot to take.
Thus, it would be advantageous to have a sports training device that could visually indicate what the player should do and that could be remotely commanded or act on its own to signal the player when the player approaches. It would further be advantageous to simulate the dynamic situation during a match or game, a training device should randomize plays and or coaching commands/instructions and display or signal such a play, command, or instruction to the player in such a way that the player has to react and in so doing improve both mental and physical reaction time. Therefore, there remains a need for a system, device, and method that provides a random, visual signal to a player when the player approaches the device. Further, there is a need of a device that can be set up in a desired location and act as a physical barrier to the athlete-in-training to further enable the athlete to work on proper form and technique.
One preferred embodiment of the present invention contemplates a training device for training a player, the device comprising: a base, the base supporting a lower portion, the lower portion configured to adjust in height; an upper portion coupled to the lower portion, the upper portion further including a display; and a first sensor coupled to the device, the first sensor in signal communication with the display, the first sensor operable to detect a first condition indicating an approach of the player, the first condition triggering at least a signal causing a first predetermined play to be displayed on the display.
Possible embodiments will now be described with reference to the drawings and those skilled in the art will understand that alternative configurations and combinations of components may be substituted without subtracting from the invention. Also, in some figures certain components are omitted to more clearly illustrate the invention.
In one contemplated embodiment, the present invention is configured to assist a coach train basketball players. This embodiment is detailed herein: However, those skilled in the art will appreciate that subtle changes or reconfigurations are possible, making the present invention easily adaptable for training other sports including, but not limited to, soccer, field hockey, football, ice hockey, and other team or individual sports.
With specific reference to
The upper portion 16 rests on the at least one pole 13 and may swivel or bend independently or may remain rigid with respect to the pole. The upper portion includes a front side 17 and a backside 19, opposite the front side. The front side includes a display 26, or output screen, and a speaker 27 so that a specific play can be communicated to the player. The specific play is displayed and/or audibled when the player enters the first detection zone 24. One contemplated screen is a Dot Matrix Display 32×16 Blue available from Photoelectricity Co., Ltd at www.aliexpress.com, for example. However there are hundreds of suitable displays, as would be appreciated by those skilled in the art.
The at least one play from at least one list of predetermined plays is stored in memory resident on the device 10. Alternatively, the device 10 is in real-time wired or wireless communication with the coach by means of a radio, phone, smart appliance, computer, or tablet (and the like), and the coach sends data or voice or both transmission to the device (or sends one or more individual data transmissions to one or more devices simultaneously or individually (serially)) for visual and or audible plays to shown/announced to the player as he or she approaches the device. Preferably, the at least one predetermined play is a plurality of plays on at least one predetermined play list, which can be ordered or randomized as desired by the coach for a particular training exercise. This at least one list of predetermined plays is programmed into the device and stored on resident memory on the device, and is displayed (on the screen) or audibled (via the speaker) or both to the player when the player approaches the device, triggering the first sensor when the player enters the first detection zone, for example.
Accordingly, a first sensor 22 mounts on the front of the device 10. The first sensor 22 has a first range of detection 24, which can be adjusted to trigger when the first sensor detects a player in the zone of detection (here, the first range of detection 24). This zone can be focused closer or further from the device to enable the coach to better time the instructions provided by the device to the player. One contemplated first sensor is an ultrasonic rangefinder such as the LV-MaxSonar-EZ0 available from www.maxbotix.com, for example.
Further, the signal from the sensor to the display board on the device can be delayed based on the coach's assessment of the player and/or the player's level of experience—thus making the training more difficult. The delay option causes the message announced or displayed to the player to appear immediately upon the first sensor being triggered, which allows for the maximum amount of reaction time for the player to read (or hear) and react to the instruction. Or, the delay can be increased by, for example, 1/100th of a second or 1/10th of second, or other times, etc., thus delaying the announced or displayed play/message—this results in less available reaction time for the player, which makes training more difficult. The time delays are categorized by difficulty level, for example, novice, intermediate, amateur, and professional.
A second sensor 23 also mounts on the device. The second sensor has a second range of detection 25, which can be adjusted to trigger when a player leaves the zone of detection. This can be used to calculate and otherwise record a player's reaction time to the displayed or audibled instruction. The second sensor can be mounted on the front or on the back, or on any other position on the device depending on many factors including the type of sensor used, the motion the player is making, the particular sport, the particular training routine. The sensor can be movable and repositionable, for example.
Now with particular reference to
A first sensor 22 mounts on the device 10. The first sensor 22 has a first range of detection 24, which can be adjusted to trigger when the first sensor detects a player in the zone of detection (here, the first range of detection 24). This zone can be focused closer or further from the device to enable the coach to better time the instructions provided by the device to the player. One contemplated first sensor is an ultrasonic rangefinder such as the LV-MaxSonar-EZ0 available from www.maxbotix.com, for example.
A second sensor 23 (not shown in
The device 10 further includes an output screen 26 (and optionally a speaker, not shown in the drawing) so that a specific play can be communicated to the player. The specific play is displayed and/or audibled when the player enters the first detection zone 24. One contemplated screen is a Dot Matrix Display 32×16 Blue available from Photoelectricity Co., Ltd at www.aliexpress.com, for example. However there are hundreds of suitable displays, as would be appreciated by those skilled in the art.
The specific play that the device 10 displays can be randomized or a programmed sequence can be pre-programmed into the device. Additionally, by a wireless connector can couple the device 10 to a remote computer system so that new instructions can be programmed at any time.
Further, the audible or visual instruction may have a pre-determined delay. This delay can be set according to a player's skill level. The longer the delay from when a player enters the first zone of detection until the play is communicated, the harder it is for the player, as his or her reaction time must be fast, as the total reaction time available is diminished. Thus, a coach may set up the device to have a very short or no delay for new or young players, but more skilled, more professional players could have a longer delay before the particular play is communicated. This reaction time measurement can be used for additional training of the player.
In one embodiment, the training device includes a visual recognition camera that targets a player's jersey or face. In the case of targeting the jersey, the camera captures and recognizes the jersey number so that any recorded or calculated information can be associated with that player's number. Similarly, if the camera is targeting the player's face, the player can be recognized and recorded and calculated information can be associated with that player. A user or coach can associate jersey numbers with player's unique identification information. Similarly, facial recognition software can be run so that the user or coach can input player's information so that the correct player is associated with the appropriate data collection.
In another embodiment, a camera, which can be the same visual recognition camera, includes sufficient memory storage allocation to record activity in the zone of detection. A video can be made based on actual images captured by the camera so that the coach and/or player can later access the video to review the training session.
Ideally, coaches/parents/players can set up the device from a set of commands from a pre-determined menu via an app or remote computer system that wirelessly connects to the training device. In the case that multiple training devices are present, they can select a device to program based on a present device identification, and sync to a specific training device. (i.e. a coach has 4 training systems in the gym, and he may want different commands at each training device). This pre-determined menu can be updated by accessing a remote computer. Further, the coach can change (reprogram) the training device remotely using, for example, a blue-tooth enable device, such as a smart phone or tablet. This reprogramming can be done in real-time. Thus, if a coach assesses that a player is anticipating the training sequence of the training device, the coach can change instructions or other variables (for example, delay, on the fly, in real-time).
In another contemplated embodiment, the present invention includes an option for the coach to input specific commands they want to see. (i.e., a PRE-SET list of commands could include: Crossover, Spin Move, Jumpshot, etc.). Accordingly, a function called “CUSTOMIZE” is configured to enable a coach/parent/player to input a custom command like Stutter Step or Behind The Back, etc. The display can configure to show words, pictures, or any desired output.
Additional controllable options include, but are not limited to, time of displayed command, random or sequenced commands, color of commands, enable audio of command, and distance of detection, for example.
One particular preferred embodiment of the present invention contemplates a training device for training players or athletes, whether the player/athlete is a novice or a pro, young or old. The device 10 comprises a base 12. The base supports a lower portion 14, which could be a single, adjustable pole 13, or other support that mimics the lower torso of an opponent player, whether it mimic the opponent in appearance or function or both. For example, the lower portion 14 is a height-adjustable pole 13 that swivels and tilts with respect to the base and is otherwise coupled to the base. The device 10 further includes an upper portion 16 coupled to the lower portion. The upper portion 16 includes a display 26 arranged and otherwise coupled to a front side 17 and the display is configured to display at least one pre-determined training play. A first sensor 22 is configured to enable a first detection zone 24 relative to the front side 17 of the upper portion 16 wherein the display 26 is configured to display the at least one pre-determined training play, which is triggered by a pre-first determined condition detected by the first sensor 22 in the first detection zone 24 (that condition is that the athlete-player has entered the first detection zone, for example).
The device 10 further includes a second sensor 23 arranged on and otherwise coupled to a backside 19 of the upper portion 16. The second sensor 23 is configured to enable a second detection zone 25 relative to the backside wherein the at least one pre-determined training play is reset by a second predetermined condition detected by the second sensor in the second detection zone (that is the athlete-player leaves the second detection zone, for example).
The device 10 further includes a speaker 27 arranged and otherwise coupled to the upper portion, the speaker configured to audibly announce the at least one play. Each electronic component (the display, first sensor, second sensor, and speaker) is electronically in communication with at least one processor. The electronic connection is preferably a wired connection, but a wireless connection between any one, any combination, or any subset, or all components is also contemplated. A power source, such as a rechargeable battery is encapsulated in the device, for example, in the base 12. The battery can be charged by a wireless or wired connection adapted for that use, as would be well understood by those skilled in the art. The power source is electrically coupled and in communication with the electronic components, as would be conventionally understood in this art. A memory storage device is included and is in communication with the processor. The memory storage device includes wired or wireless connection ports to an external, remote, device (such as a smart phone, tablet, computer, laptop, desktop, and the like), so to receive one or more plays on one or more predetermined play lists that are ordered, randomized, or otherwise sequenced. Alternatively, the sequencing of one or more plays or one or more playlists can be performed by the on-board processor on the device 10, for example.
Method of Use.
A coach will set up the device 10 by adjusting the height and any other physical set ups desired (for example, if so equipped, adjusting the arms). A set of plays is programmed into the device. The plays can be pre-programmed by the user or can be downloaded from a remote server. In a preferred and contemplated embodiment, the training device is blue-tooth or wifi or other wireless or wired enabled to provide access to the programming sequence from a remote device, such as a smart phone, or tablet, for example. In one example, the location where the device is deployed has a WIFI network, the device can access the WIFI network and another device, such as a computer, laptop, tablet, or smart phone, for example, on the same WIFI network can then access the programs resident on the training device to set a new training routine, edit an existing training routine, adjust user-selectable variable, or perform other functions. The ability of the training device to access an existing WIFI network can be through a keyboard that is plugged into a port (for example, a USB port) and the commands and menu can be viewed on the device's screen, for example.
In another embodiment, the training device includes Blue-tooth compatibility. In this embodiment, a smart appliance, such as a smart phone, tablet, or a computer or laptop, can use Blue-tooth protocols to access the training device remotely. Once paired, the smart appliance can serve as both the input and output means for a user to reprogram the training device, update user-selected parameters, or otherwise instruct the device.
In yet another embodiment, a physical port is built into the training device. One suitable port is a USB port whereby a USB cable linked to a remote device, such as a tablet, laptop, or other personal computer, or smart phone, can interface with the training device.
The coach selects randomized plays or selects a pre-determined sequence of plays and activates the device (turns it on). These plays can be pre-programmed to the training device and reside on resident memory on the device. Alternatively, a menu of plays can be pre-determined on a remote device, and that remote device can be placed in communication with the training device to provide real-time instructions, or a set of instructions to be executed at a later time.
Regardless of how the pre-determined plays are entered onto the training device, during a training session the training device is turned on, thus activating the one or more on-board sensors to initiate and await an event in their range of detection.
Thus, when a player approaches the device and enters the zone of detection of the first sensor, a given play is displayed on the screen or audibled via the speaker, or both. The player executes the play and moves out of the zone of detection. A second sensor trips when the player moves out of the zone of detection and this reaction time is recorded.
A visual recognition camera can record the player's jersey number and associate that number with all data collected in relation to that player's interaction with the training device.
Optionally, a visual recognition camera system can identify the player and associate the face with all data collected in relation to that player's interaction with the training device.
The device resets, ready for the next player to activate it.
The coach may access plays and exercises that he has used before, which may be stored locally 605 on a smart appliance, desktop, laptop, tablet, or the like, which can be linked wirelessly or wired to the device 10, as previously described, above. From a set of locally resident plays 605, for example, the coach creates at least one play list 607. The at least one play list can be randomized 609 as to the sequence displayed on the device 10. A random sequence generating subroutine 611 can be used to randomize the at least one playlist, or can randomize all plays in the local data base, or can be otherwise configured to present a playlist, update the playlist real-time, or manipulate the playlist in real-time as needed by the coach. Additional plays can be obtained from a remote server or remote database 613 of plays, and these plays may be downloaded individually or en masse by the coach to the local play database 605. One contemplated means for communication between a remote play database 613 and a local database 605 or to the coach's smart appliance, laptop, tablet, and the like, is by using the Cloud and/or providing a connection to the Internet either real-time or not. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the randomizing of the play sequence 611 could be performed by a processor on the device 10 or on the coach's smart appliance, PC, laptop, MAC, desktop, or tablet, for example.
The device 10, having received at least one play, or at least one sequence of plays 617 stores the at least one play in resident memory. Then, when a player enters the first detection zone 619, the device registers this event and begins a delay 621 from about 0-seconds to t-seconds, where t-seconds is a time set by the coach. The actual delay may be randomized, or fixed, depending on the coach's need. After the delay period expires, the first of the at least one plays in the at least one play sequence is displayed and or announced 623. The player acts on the instruction and moves away from the device. A second sensor on the device detects the departure of the player 625. The device calculates the response time 627 and reports this statistic to a database 603. As discussed with the various preferred embodiments, above, additional information may be tagged or associated with the response time to provide useful statistics to the coach so that the coach may assess individual player performance and continue to develop that player.
One particular preferred and contemplated method according to the present invention includes steps for training a player or athlete. The method 600 includes, first, providing a training device 10, as described above. The device 10 includes a base 12, a lower portion 14 comprising at least one supporting pole 13 coupled to the base and an upper portion 16 coupled to the lower portion. The upper portion further includes a display 26 coupled to a front side 17. The display is configured to display at least one pre-determined training play 623. A first sensor 22 is configured to enable a first detection zone 24 relative to the front side of the upper portion and wherein the display is configured to display the at least one pre-determined training play is triggered by a pre-first determined condition detected 619 by the first sensor in the first detection zone. Optionally, a delay 621 can be randomized or predetermined by the coach to a time value from 0 seconds to any desired delay time t.
The method includes the further steps of providing at least one pre-determined training play 617 to the device, then detecting a player 619 entering the first detection zone by the player, displaying or announcing the play to the player 623, leaving the second detection zone by the player and resetting the training device.
This method further includes providing a plurality of predetermined plays 607, sequencing (by the coach 601) or randomizing 611 the plurality of predetermined plays, and communicating the predetermined plays to memory on the device 617.
Additionally, a remote database 613 includes one or more predetermined plays. The remote database is linked via the Internet or the cloud 615 to the coach. The coach uses a smart appliance, smart phone, laptop, desktop, tablet, or the like to connect to the internet to find plays, to discuss coaching technique, and to otherwise develop at least one play, or to develop a sequence of plays, and otherwise establish a playlist 607. The coach has access to a local playlist 605, which may be a list of plays the coach previously used, or may include a library of desired plays that the coach downloaded from the Internet or cloud.
The randomizing of the plays 611 can be done on the device 10, or ahead of time by the coach, for example.
Although the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to certain embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and detail may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. And further, the present invention can be readily adapted for use as a training device for other sports not expressly disclosed herein.
1. A training device comprising:
- a base;
- a lower portion comprising at least one supporting pole coupled to the base; and
- an upper portion coupled to the lower portion, the upper portion further comprising a display coupled to a front side, the display configured to display at least one pre-determined training play, a first sensor configured to enable a first detection zone relative to the front side of the upper portion wherein the display configured to display the at least one pre-determined training play is triggered by a pre-first determined condition detected by the first sensor in the first detection zone.
2. The device of claim 1 further comprising:
- a second sensor coupled to the device, the second sensor configured to enable a second detection zone relative to the backside wherein the at least one pre-determined training play is reset by a second predetermined condition detected by the second sensor in the second detection zone.
3. The device of claim 1 further comprising:
- a speaker coupled to the upper portion, the speaker configured to audibly announce the at least one play.
4. A method of training a player, the method comprising:
- providing a training device comprising a base; a lower portion comprising at least one supporting pole coupled to the base; and an upper portion coupled to the lower portion, the upper portion further comprising a display coupled to a front side, the display configured to display at least one pre-determined training play, a first sensor configured to enable a first detection zone relative to the front side of the upper portion wherein the display configured to display the at least one pre-determined training play is triggered by a pre-first determined condition detected by the first sensor in the first detection zone;
- providing at least one pre-determined training play to the device;
- detecting a player entering the first detection zone;
- displaying or announcing the play to the player; and
- leaving the second detection zone by the player.
5. The method of claim 4 further comprising:
- providing a plurality of predetermined plays;
- sequencing or randomizing the plurality of predetermined plays; and
- communicating the predetermined plays to memory on the device.
6. The method of claim 4 further comprising:
- resetting the training device.
Filed: Aug 27, 2014
Publication Date: Mar 5, 2015
Inventor: Josiah Lake (Beaverton, OR)
Application Number: 14/469,989
International Classification: A63B 69/34 (20060101); A63B 71/06 (20060101);