TRAINING BAT AND METHOD

A training bat with a user end on one side and a hitting end on an opposite side. The user end has a first grip, a second grip, and a generally u-shaped segment interconnecting the first grip and the second grip. The generally u-shaped segment extends away from an axis extending through the first grip, the second grip and the hitting end, whereby the batter positions a portion of the bat behind their back with a first grip on one side of their body and the second grip on the opposite side of their body to practice their hitting and swinging techniques.

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Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to swinging and hitting systems to teach hand eye coordination and proper swinging techniques and, more specifically, to a baseball bat with a receptacle or u-shaped portion in which to accommodate a torso of a user with grips on opposite sides of the receptacle.

Background of the Invention

Baseball and softball are two popular sports among children, men, and women. Although popular, it does not mean that the sports are easy. Specifically, it can be difficult to properly swing a bat, while still maintaining eye contact on the ball during the swing. Oftentimes, the player does not have good enough hand eye coordination initially, and must work to hone this skill to properly wield a bat to hit the ball. More swing and hitting training may be needed as the player develops to reiterate the importance of fundamentals. Other issues affecting players include maintaining the proper balance during the swing, rhythm of the swing, proper plane of the swing, and proper hand placement on the bat.

Numerous attempts to produce a training bat that addresses these issues exist in the prior art. The following patents discuss background art related to the above discussed subject matter:

U.S. Pat. No. 5,230,506 issued Jul. 27, 1993, to Cipriano, discloses a sport training device having a hollow shaft into which is connected a flexible hollow rod which is secured to the shaft in such a manner that a region of the flexible hollow rod located inside of the shaft is separated by an air space from an interior wall of the shaft. A ball-shaped target is connected to the flexible hollow rod at the target end of the device. A rubber or rubber-like handle is attached to the shaft at the holding end of the training device.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,379,261 issued Apr. 30, 2002, to Hart, discloses a golf swing training and muscle exercising apparatus or swing trainer is provided which is designed to be used indoors as well as outdoors. The golf swing trainer includes a double bent shaft having upper and lower end portions separated by a center portion, the center portion being interconnected, at opposite ends thereof, with each of the upper and lower end portions by first and second joining portions. The upper and lower end portions are substantially straight and have respective center lines, wherein the center line for the upper end portion is the first center line, the center line for the center portion is the second center line and the center line for the lower end portion is the third center line, the first center line lying at an angle A to the second center line and the second center line lying at an angle B to the third center line. The first center line, second center line and third center line preferably lie in the same plane and angle B is preferably greater than angle A. The preferred golf swing trainers will include a training grip and a weighted head which is detachably engaged with the distal or lower end of the shaft. The weighted head will preferably weigh from about 0.25 to about 3.0 pounds.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,041,017, issued May 9, 2006, to Carfo, discloses a training aid for teaching batters how to swing properly. The aid resembles a baseball bat which has a front portion which has been flattened, and an angled device has been attached to the handle. The angled portion has a flat portion which is not quite parallel with the flat portion on the front of the bat.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,235,024, issued Jun. 26, 2007 to Lefebvre, et al., discloses a training bat having a handle portion with a knob end and a barrel receiving end, a hitting portion, and a means for tethering said handle portion to said hitting portion. The means for tethering is selected from either an eye bolt assembly, a link assembly, or an eye bolt. The eye bolt assembly joins a wood fitting portion secured within the barrel receiving end of the handle portion to the hitting portion by one or more chain links, as well as joins a wood hitting portion to the one or more chain links. The link assembly joins a plug secured within the barrel receiving end of the handle portion to the hitting portion by one or more chain links.

U.S Patent Application No. 2006/0025246, published Feb. 2, 2006, to Forney, discloses a swing training including a bat body having a handle, a barrel and a tapered section joining the handle. The bat body is adapted for hitting a pitched ball. A locking grip is adjustably fixed to the handle and has a bottom end knob and a top end knob. A sliding grip is mounted on the handle and movable between the locking grip and the barrel. The sliding grip has a bottom end knob for stopping the movement of the sliding grip in the direction of the locking grip.

U.S Patent Application No. 2012/0172157 published Jul. 5, 2008, to McCrory, discloses a hand held baseball or Softball training device for assisting a batter in learning proper swing mechanics which include a light weight 1″ hollow aluminum tube having two ends, a hand grip defining sleeve with a rubber stop disposed about the first end of the tube and a rubber cap on the second end, a lightweight aluminum oval sweet spot simulation component which is movable along the 1″ hollow aluminum tube so as to prove a visual indication to the batter as to the flight of the ball after contact which determines the position that the wrist are when contact is made with the ball.

There exists a need for an improved hitting and swinging implement that addresses the problems discussed hereinbefore. Consequently, those skilled in the art will appreciate the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A primary object of the present invention is to provide an improved training bat for baseball and softball players.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved training bat to teach hand eye coordination.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a training bat to improve a user's hitting and swinging by incorporating a receptacle to receive the user's body with a hand grip on opposite sides of the receptacle.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a training bat to improve a user's motion, rhythm, torso rotation, and hand placement during batting.

These and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become clear from the figures and description given hereinafter. It is understood that the objects listed above are not all inclusive and are only intended to aid in understanding the present invention, not to limit the bounds of the present invention in any way.

In one embodiment a training bat is provided for a batter. The batter comprising a body or torso. The training bat comprising a rigid elongate bat. A user end of the rigid elongate bat comprising a first grip, a second grip spaced apart from the first grip, and a U-shaped segment sized to receive the torso of the user, The first grip and the second grip are on opposite sides of the U-shaped segment. In this way, the second grip is positioned for gripping on an opposite side of the torso of the user from the first grip. A metal tubular hitting end on the rigid elongate bat is opposite from the user end.

In accordance with the disclosure, one embodiment of a training baseball bat, as disclosed herein, may include, but is not limited to a rigid elongate metal tubular; a user end on one side of the rigid elongate metal tubular, the user end including a first grip on one side of the user end and a second grip axially offset from the first grip along the rigid elongate metal tubular; a hitting end on an opposite side of the rigid elongate metal tubular from the user end. In one embodiment, a straight axis extends through the first grip, the second grip and the hitting end. A generally u-shaped segment interconnects the first grip and the second grip. The generally u-shaped segment including a portion that extends laterally away from the straight axis.

In one embodiment, the first grip and the second grip each comprise a metal tubular. In another embodiment, the generally u-shaped segment further includes a back plate, a first side, and a second side. In one embodiment, the generally U-shaped segment extends around at least thirty percent of the torso of a batter,

The generally u-shaped segment may further include a first interior angle and a second interior angle, whereby the first interior angle and the second interior angle are rounded. The first interior angle and the second interior angle may further comprise a total of one-hundred eighty degrees.

In another embodiment, a training baseball bat for a batter is disclosed, including, but not limited to, a rigid elongate metal tubular; a first grip; a second grip; a batting end on a side of the rigid elongate metal tubular opposite the first grip and the second grip; a batter body receptacle positioned between the first grip and a second grip, the batter body receptacle being generally u-shaped and configured to receive a body of a batter.

It may further comprise a straight axis extending through the first grip, the second grip and the batting end, the batter body receptacle including at least a portion thereof that extends away from the straight axis. In one embodiment, the first grip and the second grip each comprise a metal tubular.

In another embodiment, the batter body receptacle may further include a back plate, a first side, and a second side. It may further include a first interior angle and a second interior angle, with the first interior angle and the second interior angle being rounded. The first interior angle and the second interior angle may both be acute angles, both obtuse angles, or one of both an acute and an obtuse angle. The first interior angle and the second interior angle may comprise a total of one-hundred eighty degrees. In a preferred embodiment, the elongate bat comprises a continuous metal tubular.

Another embodiment provides a method for providing a training baseball bat, including: providing an elongate metal tubular; providing a user end on one side of the rigid elongate metal tubular, the user end including a first portion on one side of the user end and a second portion offset from the first grip along the rigid elongate metal tubular; providing a U-shaped section between the first portion and the second portion; providing that the U-shaped section is sized to extend around a portion of a circumference the torso of the batter, and providing a hitting end on an opposite side of the rigid elongate metal tubular from the user end.

Other steps may comprise providing a straight axis extending through the first grip, the second grip and the hitting end; and interconnecting a generally u-shaped segment between the first grip and the second grip, the generally u-shaped segment including a portion that extends away from the straight axis.

In one embodiment, the method includes providing the elongate bat is a continuous tubular comprising throughout said user end and said hitting end. In another embodiment, the method includes providing the first portion, the second portion and the hitting end may all be tubular. The steps may further include providing that the first portion and the second portion are positioned for a first grip and a second grip by the batter to position the U-shaped section around the torso of the batter.

The method may provide the u-shaped segment further include a back plate, a first side, and a second side. The method may comprise providing the generally u-shaped segment further includes a rounded first interior angle and a second interior angle, the first interior angle and the second interior angle being rounded. The method may also include the of providing the first interior angle and the second interior angle include both acute angles, both obtuse angles, or one of both an acute and an obtuse angle training bat.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above general description and the following detailed description are merely illustrative of the generic invention, and additional modes, advantages, and particulars of this invention will be readily suggested to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. A more complete understanding of the invention and many of the attendant advantages thereto will be readily appreciated by reference to the following detailed description when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a hitting and swinging implement in accord with one possible embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side view of a hitting and swinging implement in accord with one possible embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a side view of a hitting and swinging implement wielded by a user in a ready position in accord with one possible embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is another side view of a hitting and swinging implement wielded by a user at the moment of contact with the ball in accord with one possible embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a side view of a hitting and swinging implement wielded by a user after contact with the ball in accord with one possible embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a side view of a hitting and swinging implement wielded by a user after full body extension after contacting the ball in accord with one possible embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Detailed descriptions of embodiments of the invention are provided herein. It is to be understood, however, that the present invention may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but rather as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed system, structure or manner.

Bat 100, may be referenced interchangeably herein as a hitting aid, swinging aid, or training bat 100. In a one embodiment, bat 100 may be comprised of aluminum, aluminum alloy, various metals or any other material suitable for batting purposes. In alternate embodiments for younger users, bat 100 may further comprise a foam, stuffing, any soft composite material, or the like, wrapped around hitting portion 10. In one embodiment, hitting and swinging bat 100 is used in conjunction with tee 130 and ball as depicted in FIGS. 3-6. In another embodiment, bat 100 may be used solely with ball 120 consistent with the teachings herein. In a possible embodiment, bat 100 is an elongated rigid tubular of a monolithic construction, while in alternate embodiments, bat 100 may be constructed of various individual pieces configured as one. In one embodiment, the tubular may be continuous along the entire length thereof.

Looking to FIGS. 1 and 2, bat 100, is shown as a generally elongated rigid metallic tubular comprising hitting portion 10, second grip 30, u-shaped body portion 70, and first grip 20. In one embodiment, hitting portion 10, second grip 30, and first grip 20 are aligned along straight axis 50. However, in other embodiments these components may not necessarily be aligned. For example, in one embodiment first grip 20 might not be axially aligned with second grip 30. As well, portions of the bat may not be tubular such as u-shaped body portion 70, which may also be referred to herein as u-shaped segment 70, receptacle 70, u-shaped body portion 70, or the like. For instance, u-shaped segment 70 could be padded and/or comprised of flat iron or plastic like material. One or more of the first or second hand grips may be shaped differently for gripping. The components may be coated or the like.

First grip 20 and second grip 30 may or may not be marked or otherwise distinguishable but are the portions where the hands of the batter are naturally placed to utilize the bat in accordance with the batting procedure shown in FIG. 3-FIG. 6. In this case, placing one hand on first grip 20 and the other hand on second grip 30 allow the user to readily hold the receptacle 70 around the torso batter. With the bat held in this position, the importance of swinging the hips during batting is emphasized and reinforced. The first grip 20 may be referred to as a first tubular portion in the claims. The second grip 30 may be referred to as a second tubular portion. These tubular portions are preferably oriented or parallel or axially aligned with each other and with hitting end 10 so as to be easily gripped by a user for purposes of placing the user in the batting position shown in FIG. 3-FIG. 6 with the receptacle held around the body as explained with reference to FIG. 3. In one embodiment, the receptacle 70 is around the back of the batter's torso but conceivably could be around the front of the batters torso.

In one embodiment, hitting portion 10 is shaped like a traditional baseball bat with a generally rounded cylindrical shape. In other embodiments, hitting portion 10 may comprise a flattened or square face for striking ball 120. Body portion 70 defines a generally u-shaped segment extending outwardly away from axis 50 interconnecting first grip 20 and second grip 30. First grip 20 is axially offset from second grip 30 along axis 50 on opposite sides of u-segment or receptacle 70. First grip 20 may further comprise grip end 25 to assist a user with keeping proper grip of bat 100. In this embodiment, u-shaped body portion 70 or receptacle is rectangular shaped and further comprises back plate 40 buttressed on a first side by first shoulder 60 and buttressed by second shoulder 65 on the opposite end of back plate 40 with respect to first shoulder 60, whereby centerline 55 of u-shaped body portion 70 extends away from axis 50, around a user's back, and then returns to axis 50. In alternate embodiments, u-shaped body portion 70 may be semi-circular shaped, oblong shaped, or may comprise other shapes provided they are large enough to accommodate a user's body, consistent with the teachings herein.

As different users may be wider, taller, broader, and/or may have longer arms than other users, in various embodiments of training bat 100, u-shaped body portion 70, and more specifically back plate 40, shoulders 60 and 65 may be of all sizes and shapes to accommodate users of various sizes consistent with the teachings herein, provided they are in the proper proportions with respect to each other. U-shaped body portion 70 may comprise one or more length adjustment sections to adjust the lengths of components of U-shaped body portion 70 to fit different sized batters.

In one alternate embodiment, back plate 40 may be curved, while first shoulder 60 and second shoulder 65 are of different lengths. In one embodiment, u-shaped segment or receptacle or body portion 70 may extend at least thirty percent around the torso of a batter. In another embodiment, u-shaped segment or receptacle or body portion 70 may extend at least forty percent around the torso of a batter. In another embodiment, u-shaped segment or receptacle or body portion 70 may extend at least fifty percent around the torso of a batter. In another embodiment, u-shaped segment or receptacle or body portion 70 may extend at least sixty percent around the torso of a batter.

In one embodiment, back plate 40, and shoulders 60, 65 are arranged so that hitting portion 10, first grip 20, and second grip 30 are aligned axially with respect to each other along axis 50. Hitting portion 10 may have a diameter equal to or greater than the diameter of first grip 20 and second grip 30. In one embodiment, the diameter of u-shaped body portion 70 is the same as first grip 20 and second grip 30. In one embodiment, hitting portion 10 has a diameter greater then u-shaped body portion 70.

In one embodiment, inner corners 80 and 90 are rounded 90 degree angles with respect to first shoulder 60, back plate 40, and second shoulder 65. Similarly, outer corners 95 and 85, as well as grip corners 35, 45 define rounded 90 degree angles. Inner corners 80 and 90 may add up to one-hundred eighty degrees. In alternate embodiments, inner corners 80 and 90, outer corners 85 and 95, and grip corners 35 and 45 may comprise angles more obtuse or acute with respect to those shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. In alternate embodiments, outer corners 85, 95 and inner corners 80, 90 may comprise sharp corners. In one embodiment, the size of inner corners 80, 90 is arranged so that hitting portion 10, first grip 20, and second grip 30 fall along axis 50 for training aid 100 to operate as intended.

Looking now to FIG. 3, user 110 is shown in beginning stance 200. User 110 is oriented within u-shaped body portion 70 around the back of the torso of the batter with their palms forward with the left hand holding first grip 20 and the right hand holding second grip 30. However, other grips and stances may be utilized. In this embodiment, user or batter 110 grips from beneath bat 100 so that the back of user 110 is adjacent back plate 40 with their body facing straight towards ball 120 positioned on tee 130. Trainers can adjust the stance length, knee positions, and head placement of user 110 to best utilize bat 100.

FIG. 4 depicts user 110 in contact position 300, whereby user 110 pivots and turns their body towards the left from beginning stance 200 so that hitting portion 10 is on the proper plane to strike ball 120. Head remains focused on ball 120 during this portion of the swing and arms are bent at approximately a 45 degree angle with respect to bat 100.

In FIG. 5, user 110 has made contact with ball 120 and continues to pivot and turns their body towards the left with respect to tee 130. At this point of the swing, user should continue rotating their bod to the left, causing u-shaped body portion 70 to face more towards tee 130 than away from tee 130 with user maintaining focus on ball 120 throughout the swing. It will be appreciated that in this embodiment u-shaped body portion 70 extends around at least forty and possibly fifty percent of the torso of the user or batter 100.

In FIG. 6, user 110 finishes the swing, having completely expended the momentum generated during the entire swing extending bat 100 as far around their body as practical. User 110 remains focused on ball 120 during this portion of the swing, with arms and body at full rotation with respect to beginning stance 200 in FIG. 3.

The foregoing description of embodiments of the invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description only. It is not intended to be exhaustive nor to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed; and obviously many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. Such modifications and variations that may be apparent to a person skilled in the art are intended to be included within the scope of this invention as defined by the accompanying claims.

Claims

1. A training baseball or softball bat for use by a batter for hitting a ball, comprising:

a rigid elongate bat comprising a rigid continuous metallic tubular;
a user end of said rigid elongate bat comprising a first grip on said rigid continuous metallic tubular; a second grip spaced apart from said first grip along said rigid continuous metallic tubular; a U-shaped segment on said rigid continuous metallic tubular sized to receive a batter's torso, said first grip and said second grip being on opposite sides of said U-shaped segment so that said second grip is positioned for gripping on an opposite side of said batter's torso from said first grip; and
a metallic tubular hitting end on said rigid elongate bat opposite from said user end on said rigid continuous metallic tubular, said metallic tubular hitting end comprising a tubular ball engagement surface to engage said ball, said rigid continuous metallic tubular at said tubular ball engagement surface comprising a lamer diameter than said rigid continuous metallic tubular at said user end, said metallic tubular hitting end being entirely tubular.

2. The training baseball or softball bat of claim 1, further comprising said first grip and said second grip each comprising a metallic tubular, a length of a batter body receptacle comprising at least twenty percent of a total length of said training bat.

3. The training baseball or softball bat of claim 2, wherein an axis of said metallic tubular hitting end extends through said first grip and said second grip, said U-shaped segment extending laterally away from said axis.

4. The training baseball or softball bat of claim 3, wherein said U-shaped segment extends around at least thirty percent of said batter's torso.

5. The training baseball or softball bat of claim 3, wherein said U-shaped segment comprises a back plate, a first side, and a second side.

6. The training baseball or softball bat of claim 4, wherein said U-shaped segment comprises a first interior angle and a second interior angle, said first interior angle and said second interior angle being rounded.

7. The training baseball or softball bat of claim 6, wherein said first interior angle and said second interior angle comprising a total of one hundred eighty degrees.

8. The training baseball or softball bat of claim 7, wherein said U-shaped segment is tubular with a centerline that extends away from said axis, said rigid elongate bat being tubular along an entire length thereof.

9. A training baseball or softball bat for use by a batter for hitting a ball, comprising:

an elongate bat comprising a rigid metallic tubular;
a first grip on said rigid metallic tubular;
a second grip spaced apart along said rigid metallic tubular;
a batting end on a side of said elongate bat opposite said first grip, said batting end comprising a metallic tubular comprising a tubular ball engagement surface on said metallic tubular to engage said ball, said metallic tubular at said batting end comprising a larger diameter than said metallic tubular at a user end, said batting end being tubular along an entire length of said batting end; and
a batter body receptacle positioned between said first grip and said second grip, said batter body receptacle being generally U-shaped to receive a batter's torso.

10. The training baseball or softball bat of claim 9, wherein said first grip and said second grip each comprise a metallic tubular.

11. The training baseball or softball bat of claim 10, further comprising a straight axis extending through said first grip, said second grip and said batting end, said batter body receptacle comprising at least a portion that extends away from said straight axis.

12. The training baseball or softball bat of claim 11, wherein said batter body receptacle comprises a back plate, a first side, and a second side, said batter body receptacle comprises a first interior angle and a second interior angle, said first interior angle and said second interior angle being rounded, wherein said first interior angle and said second interior angle comprising a total of one hundred eighty degrees.

13. The training baseball or softball bat of claim 9, further comprising said elongate bat comprising a continuous metallic tubular.

14. A method for making a batter training baseball or softball bat for hitting a ball, said method comprising:

providing an elongate bat comprising a rigid metallic tubular;
providing that said elongate bat comprises a user end and a hitting end on opposite sides of said rigid metallic tubular;
providing a first portion on one side of said user end and a second portion offset from said first portion along said elongate bat along said rigid metallic tubular;
providing a U-shaped section between said first portion and said second portion comprising a rigid metallic tubular;
providing that said U-shaped section is sized to extend around a portion of a circumference a batter's torso; and
providing that said hitting end is on an opposite side of said elongate bat from said user end, providing that said hitting end comprising a tubular ball engagement surface to engage said ball, providing that said rigid metallic tubular at said tubular ball engagement surface comprises a larger diameter than said rigid metallic tubular at said user end.

15. The method of claim 14, further comprising providing that said hitting end being tubular along an entire length of said hitting end.

16. The method of claim 14, further comprising:

providing a straight axis extending through said first portion, said second portion and said hitting end, said U-shaped section extending away from said straight axis.

17. The method of claim 15, further comprising providing that said U-shaped section comprises a back plate, a first side, and a second side.

18. The method of claim 14, further comprising providing that said elongate bat is a rigid continuous tubular throughout said user end and said hitting end.

19. The method of claim 18, further providing comprising that said first portion and said second portion are positioned for a first grip and a second grip by said batter to position said U-shaped section around said batter's torso.

20. The method of claim 18, further providing said U-shaped section extends around at least twenty-five percent of said batter's torso.

Patent History

Publication number: 20170252620
Type: Application
Filed: Mar 1, 2016
Publication Date: Sep 7, 2017
Inventor: ROBERT W. BECKTELL (HOCKLEY, TX)
Application Number: 15/057,595

Classifications

International Classification: A63B 69/00 (20060101); A63B 60/06 (20060101); A63B 59/58 (20060101);