|Publication number||US20070072159 A1|
|Application number||US 11/528,810|
|Publication date||Mar 29, 2007|
|Filing date||Sep 27, 2006|
|Priority date||Sep 27, 2005|
|Publication number||11528810, 528810, US 2007/0072159 A1, US 2007/072159 A1, US 20070072159 A1, US 20070072159A1, US 2007072159 A1, US 2007072159A1, US-A1-20070072159, US-A1-2007072159, US2007/0072159A1, US2007/072159A1, US20070072159 A1, US20070072159A1, US2007072159 A1, US2007072159A1|
|Original Assignee||Olson Jerald J|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (14), Referenced by (3), Classifications (11)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims benefit under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) of the prior filing of U.S. Provisional application Ser. No. 60/720,844, filed Sep. 27, 2005.
This invention relates to video training apparatus and methods for assisting a person improve proper form, style and motion in practicing a sports activity and more particularly to a method and apparatus for providing a practicing person real-time video images of himself on a monitor positioned in the visual target area of the player's sight during his practice activity.
It has long been known that it can be helpful to players of various sports to photograph and video record a practicing player during his practice activity and then afterward review or play back the photos and video so that the player may observe himself for proper form, style and movements, etc., in order to correct and improve his playing performance. Frequently the practicing player's instructor or coach will watch the video playback with the player and critique and instruct the player on points observed during the video playback.
This type of training method is often employed by golf instructors in working with practicing golfers, particularly since proper form, stance, style and motion are so critical to the golfing activity. When watching the playback together after the practicing golfer has completed a series of swings, etc., the instructor will typically point out errors and discuss changes that the player should endeavor to work on in subsequent practice activities.
While this after-the-fact observation of his earlier golf swing practicing has been shown to be a helpful and valuable instruction tool for assisting the player identify areas needing improvement or correction in stance, style and motion, such assistance is provided only at a point in time after his practice activity has been completed, and then obviously only from viewing his earlier practice from the standpoint of an observer effectively facing himself, as are the images provided on a monitor screen from a video camera.
It has however, been discovered through extensive experimentation that, in practicing sports activities that have a fixed visual target area upon which the practicing player focuses his sight during his practice activity, if a video monitor screen is positioned in the visual target area so that while the practicing player is focusing on the visual target area of his practice activity he is able to view real-time video image of himself practicing, the player can effectively observe himself during his practice activity as it is happening without impairing his practice. It has been discovered that by electronically inverting the video image shown on the monitor screen in the practicing player's view, and thereby effectively providing a mirror image view to the practicing player as he focuses on his target area, his brain is able to absorb the image without disruption of his focus on the target of his activity, in very similar manner to a person standing in front of a mirror and combing his hair. This corrected, real-time mirror-image observation of himself as he practices his activity provides the practicing player an immediate view of his stance, form and motion as it occurs, and thereby provides an enhanced, improved, and effective practice experience.
In its basic concept this invention provides a sports practice video training system and method for golf and other sports which have a visual target area upon which the practicing player visually focuses during practice activity, the system and method arranged to capture video images of the player with at least one video camera and transmit the images to a video monitor screen positioned in the visual target area of the practicing player during his practice activity and selectively invert the image sent to the monitor screen, whereby the practicing player may view himself in real time from his own perspective during his actual practicing activity in order to observe, adjust and correct himself for proper stance, form, motion and other aspects important to his practice and improvement in his sport.
It is by virtue of the foregoing basic concept that the principal objective of this invention is achieved; namely, the provision of a system and method for improving the results of practice, training and instruction for sports having a visual target area upon which the practicing player focuses during his practice activity, and to overcome the limitations and disadvantages of video playback training systems of the prior art which provide only for subsequent, after-the-fact player review as an observer after each practice activity has been completed.
Another object and advantage of this invention is the provision of a sports practice video training system and method of the class described which may utilize a plurality of video cameras positioned at selected positions relative to the practicing player, and switching means connects the cameras and the monitor screen to selectively send images, in either inverted or non-inverted form as needed, to the monitor screen positioned adjacent the target area of visual focus of the practicing player.
Another object and advantage of this invention is the provision of a sports practice video training system and method of the class described which may also include a second monitor screen positioned for viewing by an instructor or trainer and which image may as desired be inverted or not inverted independently of the image on the monitor viewed by the practicing player.
Another object and advantage of this invention is the provision of a sports practice video training system and method of the class described which may also include a video recorder and playback unit arranged to record video images captured for subsequent playback, selectively in inverted or non-inverted form as may be desired, for subsequent review by the practicing player at a later time.
A further object and advantage of this invention is the provision of a sports practice video training system and method of the class described which may be provided specifically as a golf swing training system and method arranged to position the video monitor screen in an underlying base structure arranged to support a practicing golfer, the monitor screen being positioned adjacent the location for a golf ball positioned on the base to be hit.
A further object and advantage of this invention is the provision of a sports practice video training system and method of the class described which may be adapted for use in connection with many various, different types of visual target type sport activities.
A still further object and advantage of this invention is the provision of a sports practice video training system and method of the class described which improves and enhances the practice experience by permitting the practicing player's real-time viewing of himself from selected video camera angles during his practice activity.
The foregoing and other objects and advantages of the present invention will appear from the following detailed description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings of preferred and illustrative embodiments.
The sports practice video training system and method of this invention is arranged for use by persons practicing various different, visual target-type sports activities represented in the drawings herein in the form of golf, basketball and bowling. For purposes herein, the term visual target-type activities identifies activities in which the practicing players visual attention is focused on a single, specific, target area during his practice activity. In this, the target area in golf is the area in which the ball to be hit is located. As is well known, the golfer's visual focus is maintained on that target location throughout substantially all of his swing practice activity. Similarly, in practicing shooting free throws in basketball, the practicing player's visual attention is focused on the hoop and net area secured on the basketball backboard. In bowling, the target area of the player's visual attention is directed toward the pin end of the alley during practice. Many other sports activities require the player's visual focus on a particular target area during his practice, and the foregoing examples are merely illustrative of this type of sports activity. In all such cases, since the player's visual focus is substantially trained on a single target area during practice, the provision of a video monitor screen of the system of this invention adjacent the target area of the player's focus is both possible and practicable for operation during the player's practicing.
With the foregoing understood, the method and components of the system of this invention will now be described in detail in connection with a first embodiment arranged particularly for operation in connection with a practicing golfer. In this regard, in its broad aspect, the golf club swing training system of the first illustrated embodiment of this invention provides for a practicing golfer's own real-time viewing and, if desired, the visual recording of the practicing golfer from selected, diverse camera positions, through a complete swing of a golf club from the address position through the back swing, down swing and follow through positions relative to the fixed position of a teed golf ball.
The alternative positions of the golf ball B also afford use of the golf club swing training system by left-handed practicing players, as indicated by the footprints 26′ shown in broken lines to hit golf balls in the same direction 36 as from the right-handed player position. The alternative tees 34, 38 may be selected for use as desired, as previously discussed.
One or more video cameras are positioned at various locations relative to the base 10 in order to provide views of a practicing player P positioned at footprints 26 or 26′ from different aspects relative to the golf ball B on a tee, for analyzing the swing components of the player for correction of swing faults. Thus, in the preferred form illustrated, a camera 40 is located to face the oncoming golf ball B struck by a right-handed practicing player P positioned at the footprints 26, or a left-handed player positioned at the footprints 26′. Camera 42 shows views of a player from the rear side direction of a golf ball B, also for analysis.
Additionally or in the alternative, front and rear views of a player P at the positions of the footprints 26 and 26′ are provided by cameras 44 and 46, respectively, for evaluation of stance and swing.
An overhead camera 48 may be positioned above the television monitor 20 to provide top views of players positioned at the footprints 26 or 26′ for stance and swing analysis.
A video scan inverter apparatus 50 interconnects the television monitor 20 and the cameras to a controller means, shown herein as selector switch 52, for choosing which of the various cameras is to be activated to provide the monitor with images of a practicing player at the footprints 26 or 26′ in a desired orientation relative to a teed golf ball B. Video recordings and later playback of selected views may be made available by a recorder 54 between the monitor 20 and inverter 50.
As will be apparent to those skilled in the art, on viewing the monitor 20 during a practice swing of a golf club, the views from the various video cameras are views from the perspective of “an observer” looking at the golfer. Therefore, the view shown on the monitor screen in many cases is horizontally reversed relative to the the perspective of the practicing golfer. Accordingly, the image sent to the monitor screen is horizontally inverted by inverter 50 so that the video image seen by the practicing golfer is a mirror image that corresponds to an image of himself or herself from his or her own perspective. This is important since the golfer is viewing the monitor screen in real-time as he is practicing his swing, and therefore the image he is viewing on the screen at the same time needs to represent a view from his own perspective, rather than from that of the camera or an observer's view of himself.
In this, the image of a practicing golfer taken from a video camera facing the golfer represents the view of an observer facing the practicing golfer, and thus the video image transmitted normally to the monitor screen is that of a view facing the golfer. Thus, when a right handed golfer begins his backswing to his right, the image of the golfer on the monitor screen shows the golfer's backswing moving to the left on the monitor screen. Since these views are in real time, this view is incompatible with the golfer's perception of his movements.
Accordingly, the video image must be inverted horizontally, thereby producing effectively a mirror image view such that the image on the screen will reflect movement of the golf club toward the right on the screen just as the golfer's movement is to his right. This inverted image is therefore similar to the image that a person sees when standing in front of a mirror and moving his right arm outwardly to the right, the image he sees in the mirror is of his arm moving in the same rightward direction.
Conversely, selected camera views, such as a view from behind the golfer, as in a rear view of a right-handed golfer taken from camera 46 in
The manner of operation and use of the golf swing training system of this invention is as follows: Let it be assumed for this discussion that a right-handed player wishes to view his or her golf club swing while also being analyzed by a professional instructor. The player takes the stance at or near the footprints and extends the head 32 of a golf club into position behind the golf ball B or behind a ball supported on tee 38. The instructor adjusts the selector 52 to activate camera 40 to provide a side elevational image of the player in position to drive a golf ball B in the direction 36, as in
Similarly, images of the player P from cameras 44 and 46 provides front and rear elevational images, respectively, of the practicing player for further evaluation of the stance, handgrip and swing components. In addition, activation of overhead camera 48 enables evaluation of the player's body movements during the swinging of a golf club from the initial stance at the ball, through the backswing, the downswing and the follow through after impact with a golf ball B, to the end position of the swing.
As discussed previously, it has been found that the system of this invention enables a practicing player to view on the monitor 20 his or her swing simultaneously with the player striking a golf ball from a tee 34 or 38.
It is to be noted that the views described hereinbefore are shown on the television monitor 20 inverted by inverter 50 from the camera images which would otherwise be horizontally 180° out of phase. These inversions are made so that the viewer sees the player in proper perspective and orientation from his own standpoint rather than that of an observers. The image would also be inverted vertically 180° for viewing by a left-handed golfer positioned on the opposite side of the monitor 20, as indicated in footprints 26′.
The golf club swing training system described hereinbefore enables a method for monitoring the golf club swing of a practicing player for analysis and correction of faults, by viewing the practicing player from various orientations with video cameras during golf club swing, inverting the images of the video cameras to present them in proper orientation on the television monitor, and producing the inverted images as desired, selectively in sequential segments one at a time for analysis and subsequent correcting of faults in the swing, as well as providing continuous real-time video to the practicing golfer throughout the entire swing process. A second monitor 20A may be located away from the base 10 for viewing by an instructor at a remote location, and a video recorder 54 may be provided to record the video for subsequent viewing of recorded video of the golfer by both instructor and golfer in traditional after-the-fact viewing instruction.
In regard to the embodiment of
In the third illustrative embodiment of the system of this invention as shown in
From the foregoing it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and changes may be made in the structural arrangements, and the size, shape, type, number and arrangement of the parts of the system now described, and the features, order and steps of the training method of the present invention described hereinbefore without departing from the spirit of this invention and the scope of the appended claims.
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|Cooperative Classification||A63B69/3623, A63B69/0046, A63B69/0071, A63B24/0003, A63B2220/806|
|European Classification||A63B69/00S, A63B69/36D, A63B69/00L, A63B24/00A|