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Publication numberUS3372930 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 12, 1968
Filing dateMay 5, 1965
Priority dateMay 5, 1965
Publication numberUS 3372930 A, US 3372930A, US-A-3372930, US3372930 A, US3372930A
InventorsMichael P Sertich
Original AssigneeMichael P. Sertich
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Foot trainer with adjustable rotation and friction means
US 3372930 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 12, 1968 M. P; SERTICH 3,372,930

FOOT TRAINER WITH ADJUSTABLE ROTATION AND FRICTION MEANS Filed May 5, 19 5 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR MICHAEL P. SERTICH BY S mes 82/720283 ATTORNEY March 12, 1968 M. P. SERTICH 3,372,930 v FOOT TRAINER WITH ADJUSTABLE ROTATION AND FRICTION MEANS Filed May 5, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENT OR MICHAEL P. SERTICH BY Semmes Serums;

ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,372,930 FOOT TRAINER WITH ADJUSTABLE ROTATION AND FRICTION MEANS Michael P. Serfich, 200 Henry Grady Bldg., Atlanta, Ga. 30303 Filed May 5, 1965, Ser. No. 453,286 6 Claims. (Cl. 273- 26) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The invention is a trainer for sportsmen which is designed to restrict, while guiding, the rotational movement This invention relates generally to the field of sports, and more particularly to those sports in which the rear foot action and pivot is essential for proper body movement and coordination. For example, in baseball, it is important for the hitter to pivot and push off the ball of the rear foot when batting, for complete utilization of the body and, consequently, proper hitting technique and form.

Proper action of the rear pivotal foot gives better body balance, necessary hip pivot, the desired shorter and straight front foot stride, and level shoulders and hips for a level swing and head restrained from excessive movement, so that the batters eyes can better follow the ball. The desired body movement and coordination will result from proper pivoting of the rear foot, thus giving better timing and maximum power.

The common fault with a majority of hitters, especially beginners, is hitting off the front foot, thereby preventing the back foot from pivoting properly. This results in lunging forward and otf timing, particularly when the speed of pitched balls changes. Otf balance, which usually causes overstriding and turning of the head, results in the hitters inability to keep his eyes on the ball.

Hitters are made, not born, through proper instructions and practice. Good hitters continue to practice hitting form to retain or improve timing and coordination, since proper hitting techniques come as a result of the proper pivoted action of the rear foot.

It is thus necessary if a player is to become expertise in such sports, to be taught the proper use of the rear foot, which in turn, leads to the proper desired hitting form.

This invention is therefore concerned with an apparatus for teaching proper rear foot pivot primarily for baseball as well as other various sports such as softball, golf, tennis or any sport where the rear foot pivot action is essential or desired. This will become apparent from the following specification and attached drawings which describe the invention in terms of a baseball form training apparatus.

The object of this invention is to provide an apparatus to teach proper player form for sports. This device can i be used indoors or outdoors, with or without a platform.

Another object of this invention is to describe a device 3,372,939 Patented Mar. 12, 1968 which may readily be used by individuals, as well as large groups of players, such as by a professional club, or by amateur groups such as Little League, etc., as part of their ordinary training.

My invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred form of this invention, illustrating the back foot stance training device;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of said back foot stance training device, looking from the top thereof;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional side view of the back foot stance training device, taken along the sectional lines 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged cross-section view of the tension adjustment means, taken along the sectional lines 4-4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged perspective view of the angle adjustment means used to vary the maximum angular displacement of the training device with the upper plate deleted to clarify the operation thereof;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of a modification of the foot support, illustrating a heavy textured matting surface that may be utilized to support spikes on a shoe to simulate actual playing conditions;

FIG. 7 is a plan view of a modified form of this invention showing that holes for spikes may be provided on the foot support section of the training device;

FIG. 1 illustrates a preferred form of the invention for use by a baseball player. This assembly comprises two sections, base support section 12 and back foot support 14 which is rotatable on base support section 12.

The rotatable relationship between base support section 12 and back foot support 14 is more clearly illustrated in FIG. 3. FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the entire housing assembly, and shows that the base support section 12 is comprised of an upper plate 16 and a lower plate 18, which are preferably made of steel. As further illustrated in FIG. 3, plate 18 has an upward right angle flange section 19 and an outward right angle flange section 20 extending therefrom. Extended right angle flange section 22 of plate 16 thereby securely fits around the entire periphery of plate 18. This secure fit seals the inner section as defined by the lower plate 18 and upper plate 16 and their associated fitted flanges and keeps dirt, or whatever surface base support section 12 is buried in from getting into the inner section.

As illustrated further in FIG. 3, the assembly is buried in the ground to a level at which the top of plate 16 is at the level of ground surface 26. Thus, the relative positions of the feet in normal play are simulated by this apparatus. Spikes 28 are attached, either through welding or other mechanically equivalent means, to the flange section 20 of lower plate 18 at intervals. Thus, there are four spikes 28. These spikes extend into the earth, and securely hold the base support section 12 so that it does not change its position when being used.

As further illustrated in FIG. 3, plates 16 and 18 define radial indentations 32 and 34 which are fitted oppositely from each other, that support a series of ball bearings 36 evenly spaced throughout the radial distance of the indentations. A rim-plate 38 is provided with cutouts 40 to fit around ball bearings 36 and hold them securely in place between plates 16 and 18. Center shaft 50 supports the assembly 10, and is fitted into bore 52 of back foot support 14, which is rigidly fixed by screws or any equivalent mechanical means to upper plate 16 and rotates therewith.

FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate the foot support means 14 which is used to support the back foot as the device is being used. The back foot support 14 consists of a base 60 which is preferably cut out in the form of an enlarged shape of a human foot. The base 60 is symmetrical along its longitudinal axis so as to accommodate both left and right feet, depending upon the batter. Belt 62 is used to keep the'toe part of the foot in the desired secure position. As illustrated in FIG. 1, belt 62 is adjustable on either its right or left side, to accommodate a left or right handed batter, and is made of an elastic material which gives way slightly as the position of the foot changes as the device is being used.

Belt buckle adjusting means 6 and 64 are secured to either side of base 60 and provide for adjustment of the belt 62 by either a left or right handed player. It consists of base members 65 and 65 having pivotally sup ported cylindrical elements 68 and 68', respectively, around which belt 62 is wound inwardly and then outwardly. This is more fully illustrated in FIG. 3. The bottom portion of buckle adjusting means 64 and 64 which are located directly below pivotally supported elements 68 and 68' are jagged so that when the belt is set to the desired position, it will not slip back. By slightly lifting the belt 62 away from the jagged buckle edges, it may slide around rotating elements 68 and 68' to set itself to a new position as desired.

Complementary guide means 66 and 66' are mounted on base 60 to guide and position the heel of the foot thereon. As shown in FIGURES 1, 2 and 7, guide means 66 and 66 comprise two coacting L-shaped members that diverge from the back portion to the front portion of base 60, and therefore function to accommodate different foot sizes.

As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 5, back foot support 14 is adjustably rotatable in relation to base support section 12. More particularly, since base 60 is fixed to top plate 16, it is rotatable with respect to bottom plate 18. The degree of free rotation is fixed by stops 70 and '70, which coact with bolts 72 and 72', respectively, and which protrude from the bottom plate 18 (FIG. FIGURE 5 thus shows that stop 70 protrudes from bottom plate 18, to

coact with adjustably positionable bolt 72 to fix the degree of clockwise rotation. It is mounted to the right of center of assembly (FIGURE 3). A similar arrangement (not shown) of stop 70 and bolt 72 to fix the degree of counter-clockwise rotation is mounted tothe left of center of assembly 10. In this regard, the arrangement comprising stop 70 and bolt 72' has not been illustrated to clarify the drawings in view of the similar structure and function'of corresponding elements identified by the same identification numbers. However, the location of bolt 72 to the left'of center of assembly 10 is shown in FIGURE 1. Thus, components identified by the prime designation in conjunction with an identification number are structurally and functionally similar to the corresponding elements identified by the same identification number; for example, stops 70 and 70' are structurally and functionally similar.

Upper plate 16 is not shown in FIGURE 5, in order to clarify the operation of stop 70 and bolt 72. Thus, the operation of the angular adjusted means is shown in FIGURE 5 with relation to stop 70, bolt 72, slot 74, guide plates 76 and 78, and groove 80. A similar arrangement comprising the corresponding elements identified by the same identification numbers and having the prime designation (stop 70, 76 and 78 and groove 80') is provided to the left of center of the assembly to adjust the degree of counterclockwise rotation. Bolt 72 and 72' are mounted through base 60 of the back foot support 14, as shown in F1"- URESS and 5 and extend through the top plate 16 bolt 72, slot 74, guide plates 4 through slots 74 and 74' respectively. The position of bolts 72 and 72' in slots 74 and 74 are adjustable. This adjustability is obtained by providing guide plate sets 76 and 78, and 76 and 78, on opposite sides of base of the back foot support 14, to hold bolts 72 and 72 respectively in secure position.

Guide plates 78 and 78 contain a bore which is threaded to fit the threaded portions of bolts '72 and 72' respectively. When it is desired to change the amount which the back foot support section 14 may be freely rotated, the bolt 72 or 72 is merely loosened from guide plate 78 or 78', and moved to the desired position along groove 80 or 80, respectively. When the desired position which will give the desired angular displacement is obtained, it is again locked into place. As noted from FIG. 3, bolts 72 and 72' are wing-nut type bolts.

FIGS. 2 and 5 illustrate the tension adjustment means which is another important part of this invention. The tension adjustment means comprises a braking type material 9t) affixed to the bottom plate 18. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the braking material 9?: extends for a radial distance of because the maximum displacement of the back foot support section 14 is 45 in either direction, or a total of 90. A corresponding braking material 92 in a circular form is attached to shaft 93. Shaft 93 is threaded to fit the threads of plate 16 through which it extends, and is rotated by knob 96. Knob 96 selects the desired tension value, which, respectively, is indicated along the periphery of indicator 94 as indicated in FIG. 2. Thus, for example, if a strong player is to use the device, the tension will be set very high because he will have a lot of force behind him. On the other hand, if for example, a Little League player is to use the device, the tension adjustment means would be loosened to offset his relatively weak power. The purpose of the tension adjustment means is to simulate actual playing conditions, in which the ground provides a friction force which counteracts the body force as the foot is rotated.

FIG. 6 represents a modification of this invention in which the back foot support section 14 is deleted. This modified form of my invention is smaller than the device illustrated in FIG. 1, and, as illustrated, accommodates only the front or toe portion of the players foot. A plastic mat-like material 100 is affixed to plate 16. This material closely simulates the resistance which the surface of the ground, more particularly a grass playing field, exerts on a player wearing spikes. The purpose of this modification is that a player may use the device, without removing his spiked shoes, and simulate actual playing conditions. The material is of such a type that it resumes its original shape after the spikes are removed after use by a player. The rest of the device is as explained heretofore, in that angular adjustment means 102 and 102' and tension adjustment means 104 comprise part of this modified form of my invention. It will be apparent from reference to FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7 that the same concept of FIG. 6 might be applied to the species of FIGS. 1, 3 and 7. For example, the turntable plate shown in FIG. 6 may be sufficiently large to accommodate the entire foot of the player.

FIG. 7 represents a further modification of this invention in which the base 60 additionally comprises holes and/or indentations to fit the spikes of a baseball players shoes. Thus, the players back foot will be firmly held in position, as he practices batting. The indentations or holes are exaggerated, so that they may fit different size shoes.

The preferred form of my invention, as heretofore described, works in the following way.

The baseball player desiring to use the pivot training device to practice batting, and more particularly to learn the best position of the feet during the batting swing, will merely place his foot on the back foot support section 14. The foot he places on said support section will depend on whether he is a left or right-handed batter. Belt 62 will then be adjusted to provide the proper toe support for the particular size foot. The adjustable angular displacement means will be adjusted to give the desired angular displacement, a range of up to 45 in either direction. The tension adjusting control 96 will then be adjusted to vary the friction between brake linings 92 and 90 and thus the friction and/or tension exerted by said brake linings. Indicator 94, for example, may be scaled in terms of pounds of the individual player. The more weight and/ or power of the player, the greater tension must be exerted by the linings 92 and 90 to counteract the force of the player.

FIG. 2 indicates the initial starting position. Assuming that the player is a right-handed batter, he will swing and move his foot so that the back foot support section 14 will move counter-clockwise. As the players foot moves, during the period of this swing, his heel will be able to be raised from the support means because nothing is keeping it down. The raising of the heel of the foot towards the completion of the swing is necessary to obtain power and follow through. However, the belt 62 will keep the toe in proper position, i.e. on the surface of the back foot support.

The advantage of this invention is that it may be used by a wide group of people to simulate actual playing conditions. It is completely variable in that it accommodates players with different foot sizes, as well as different ability as regards power. Furthermore, the player may adjust the angular displacement of his swing, as regards back foot displacement, to determine just what angular displacement gives him the most powerful and accurate swing.

Whereas the aforementioned description has described the species of FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the turntables of the respective species may comprise spike engaging patterns in lieu of the mat shown in FIG. 6 or of the shoe engaging element 14 of FIG. 1. In the FIG. 6 species a pattern having plural depressions corresponding to the players toe spikes could be employed; whereas in the other species a pattern having plural depressions corresponding to the spike projections of the entire foot might be employed.

Although I have described my invention for particular use by a baseball player, it may also be used in other sports, for example, golf. Thus, when taking a swing at a golf ball my invention may be utilized to obtain correct rear foot pivot action for proper body movement and coordination. That is, it is designed for use in sports where the position of the rear foot changes angularly when playing, for example, when taking a swing at a ball. The adjustable angular displacement and tension enable a player to determine the pivot action which will give him optimum power and coordination. After form ing the proper hitting habits through continued use of this invention, he will then be able to translate them to the actual playing field.

Having described my invention, I claim the following:

1. A training device to teach the proper pivot and action of the back foot when hitting a baseball which comprises:

(A) an housing consisting of a fixed lower plate and an upper plate in rotatable relationship with said fixed lower plate;

(B) means to mount said housing securely in a dug-out portion of the ground with the top surface of the upper plate being at ground level;

(Al) foot support means mounted to said upper plate and designed to accommodate the left foot or a right foot, depending upon the player;

(Ala) guide means mounted on said foot support means to guide the position of a players heel on said foot support means;

(Alb) toe securing means to secure the toe portion of the foot of the player to said foot support means, said toe securing means being adjustable to accomlmodate diiferent foot sizes;

(C) angular adjustment means to vary the angle of rotation of said top plate and its afiixed foot support means with respect to said lower plate, in either direction, the range of said angular displacement being up to 45 in either the clockwise or counterclockwise direction;

(D) tension adjustment means, to vary the friction force between said upper and lower plates, according to the power of the individual player.

2. The training device of claim 1 wherein said tension adjustment means comprises a braking lining afiixed to both said upper plate and said lower plate, which contact each other as the upper plate is rotated, said brake lining attached to said upper plate being adjustable with respect to said lower plate brake lining, to thereby vary the friction between the two, and thus vary the force required to rotate said upper plate with respect to said lower plate.

3. The training device of claim 1, wherein said angular adjustment means comprises a stop attached to said lower plate, a groove defined by said foot support means and said upper plate, a bolt adjustably positioned within said groove so as to hit said stop on said lower plate at different degrees of confinement according to the setting of said bolt within said groove.

4. A training device to teach the proper pivot and action of the back foot when hitting a baseball which comprises:

(A) an housing consisting of a fixed lower plate and an upper plate in rotatable relationship with said fixed lower plate;

(B) means to mount said housing securely in a dug-out portion of the ground with the top surface of the upper plate being at ground level;

(C) a matted plastic material afiixed to said upper plate which resumes its original shape after spikes are removed from it, to accommodate spikes on sport shoes to simulate actual playing conditions;

(D) angular adjustment means to vary the angle of rotation of said top plate and its afiixed back foot support means with respect to said lower plate, in either direction, the range of said angular displacement being between 40 and 45 in either the clockwise or counterclockwise direction;

(E) tension adjustment means, to vary the friction force between said upper and lower plates, according to the weight and desired speed and rotation of the individual.

5. A pivot position trainer prising;

(A) an housing, including a lower section and an upper section, said lower section being in fixed relationship to said upper section and said upper section being in rotatable relation with said lower section, said upper section comprising:

(1) a plate upon which is attached:

(1a) a foot support, said foot support including:

(lal) means to guide and position the heel of a foot mounted on said back foot support;

(1a2) means to support the toe of the foot in secure position on said back foot means;

(2) means to adjust the angular displacement of said upper section relative to said lower section; (3) tension means disposed between the respective sections to vary the tension as said upper section is rotated by the foot of the user, said tension means being adjustable by varying the force of friction between two brake linings, one of which is connected to said upper section and for use in sports, com- 7 8 the other of which is connected to said lower References Cited sectlon- UNITED STATES PATENTS 6. The device of claim 5, wherein said back foot support comprises a symmetrical foot shape member, and 2'004671 6/1935 i 128-252 wherein said guide means for said heel comprises two 5 2189613 2/1940 f i 273' 188 L-shaped members which are divergent from the back Of 2849237 8/1958 slmlthls 272 57 said foot shaped member towards the front of said foot- FOREIGN PATENTS shaped member to accommodate different foot sizes, and 1,291,700 3/1962 France wherein said toe support means comprises an elastic type matenal- 10 RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3454273 *Jul 18, 1966Jul 8, 1969Vogt Appliance CorpExercise device of the twist board type
US3575412 *May 29, 1968Apr 20, 1971Arsenian George GSkiing practice exercising device
US3911907 *Aug 6, 1974Oct 14, 1975Sangaree Dan EPlanetary exercising machine
US4139193 *Oct 13, 1977Feb 13, 1979Felber David PKick training aid for karate
US4505476 *Aug 30, 1982Mar 19, 1985Ben RubinPortable exerciser
US4998720 *Mar 2, 1990Mar 12, 1991Insop KimExercise device
US5037094 *Oct 29, 1990Aug 6, 1991Elliot JohnsonBaseball hitting instructional device
US5062643 *Feb 5, 1991Nov 5, 1991Bibbey Carter SGolfing aid
US5318290 *Dec 17, 1992Jun 7, 1994Sawyer Susan HBaseball swing training apparatus
US6432001 *Jan 9, 2001Aug 13, 2002Randall K. PierceFoot position trainer apparatus
US6638176 *Nov 19, 2001Oct 28, 2003Cedric M. HayesSports stance and follow-through training apparatus
US6749529Jul 11, 2002Jun 15, 2004Michael SobolewskiBack foot pivot
US6988966 *Jun 7, 2004Jan 24, 2006Guzman Daniel PMethod for controlling a batter's foot
US7090599Dec 24, 2003Aug 15, 2006Hedgepath Phillip ABaseball batting stance training assembly
US7125350 *Jul 15, 2005Oct 24, 2006Reason-Kerkhoff Debra RSwing training device for sports
US7335117 *Oct 10, 2006Feb 26, 2008Reason-Kerkhoff Debra RSwing training device for sports
US7909747 *Nov 3, 2008Mar 22, 2011Lacaze JoeExercise device and method
US8075426 *Mar 12, 2010Dec 13, 2011Tyrome Vontrece GriffinPower pivot
US8221271 *Mar 31, 2010Jul 17, 2012Mcintyre Matthew SStance and rotational swing trainer
US8371963 *Jan 24, 2011Feb 12, 2013Susan DelGrecoPivoting training device for a baseball batter
US8414414Dec 23, 2010Apr 9, 2013Walter ViramontezWeight shifting device(s) for athletic training
US8617009 *Oct 28, 2010Dec 31, 2013Michael B. GolomBaseball swing training device
US8771157 *May 26, 2011Jul 8, 2014James CaponigroFoot pivot sports training aid
US8784230Jul 12, 2013Jul 22, 2014Steven MitchellSwing training device
US8998741Apr 9, 2013Apr 7, 2015Walter ViramontezWeight shifting device(s) for athletic training
US20110098137 *Oct 28, 2010Apr 28, 2011Golom Michael BBaseball swing training device
US20110312479 *May 26, 2011Dec 22, 2011James CaponigroFoot pivot sports training aid
US20120190484 *Jan 24, 2011Jul 26, 2012Delgreco SusanPivoting training device for a baseball batter
US20140155199 *Feb 11, 2013Jun 5, 2014Susan DelGrecoRemovable and replaceable pivoting device and training apparatus for a baseball batter using the pivoting device
CN1792399BDec 26, 2004Jun 16, 2010约翰G佩利Leg positioning and training device of golfer
EP1674137A1 *Dec 24, 2004Jun 28, 2006John G. PerryLeg positioning and training device for golfers
WO1992013608A1 *Feb 3, 1992Aug 20, 1992Jack L WilliamsGolfing aid
WO2004039459A2 *Oct 30, 2003May 13, 2004Marc Marcel Maria JanssenMuscular strengthening apparatus for therapeutic orthopaedics
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/452, 482/79
International ClassificationA63B21/015, A63B22/14, A63B22/00, A63B21/012
Cooperative ClassificationA63B21/015, A63B22/14, A63B2071/024
European ClassificationA63B22/14