Easy To Use Patents Search & Patent Lawyer Directory

At Patents you can conduct a Patent Search, File a Patent Application, find a Patent Attorney, or search available technology through our Patent Exchange. Patents are available using simple keyword or date criteria. If you are looking to hire a patent attorney, you've come to the right place. Protect your idea and hire a patent lawyer.


Search All Patents:



  This Patent May Be For Sale or Lease. Contact Us

  Is This Your Patent? Claim This Patent Now.



Register or Login To Download This Patent As A PDF




United States Patent Application 20170189779
Kind Code A1
Maclellan; Jon July 6, 2017

GRINDING PLATES

Abstract

A grinding plate, and sets thereof, includes a plate generally in the shape of a disc or cylinder. The plate has a keyhole slot which provides for a passageway from a portion of the perimeter of the plate to the keyhole and has a width throughout the length of the slot sufficient to allow at least some portion of a swing device shaft of a predetermined dimension to pass through the slot and fit into the keyhole. The keyhole perimeter has a predetermined size and shape so that when the plate is moved in a predetermined direction along the shaft it provides a snug friction fit around the shaft at a preselected position or range on the shaft. Systems and methods for swing training using the grinding plates of the invention are also provided.


Inventors: Maclellan; Jon; (St. Louis, MO)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Maclellan; Jon

St. Louis

MO

US
Family ID: 1000001658375
Appl. No.: 14/984875
Filed: December 30, 2015


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A63B 69/36 20130101; A63B 69/0024 20130101; A63B 2069/0008 20130101; A63B 69/0002 20130101; A63B 69/0015 20130101; A63B 69/38 20130101
International Class: A63B 69/36 20060101 A63B069/36; A63B 69/38 20060101 A63B069/38; A63B 69/00 20060101 A63B069/00

Claims



1. A grinding plate comprising a plate generally in the shape of a disc or cylinder, wherein the plate has a perimeter and a central locus, an interior, and an exterior surface; the plate has a keyhole whose central locus is largely coterminous with the central locus of the plate and has a keyhole perimeter having an exterior which forms an inner edge of the plate; the plate has a keyhole slot which provides for a passageway from a portion of the perimeter of the plate to the keyhole and has a width throughout the length of the slot sufficient to allow at least some portion of a swinging device shaft of a predetermined dimension to pass through the slot and fit into the keyhole; the keyhole perimeter having a predetermined size and shape so that when the plate is moved in a predetermined direction along the shaft it provides a snug friction fit around the shaft at a preselected position or range on the shaft.

2. The grinding plate of claim 1 wherein the keyhole comprises a resilient coating around its exterior which facilitates the ability of the plate to fit snugly against the shaft in a friction fit.

3. The grinding plate of claim 1 wherein the keyhole slot comprises a resilient coating along its length which facilitates the ability of the plate to slide onto the shaft.

4. The grinding plate of claim 1 wherein the grinding plate comprises a swing tracking mechanism.

5. A system for swing training comprising one or more grinding plates, wherein each grinding plate comprises a plate generally in the shape of a disc or cylinder, wherein the plate has a perimeter and a central locus, an interior, and an exterior surface; the plate has a keyhole whose central locus is largely coterminous with the central locus of the plate and has a keyhole perimeter having an exterior which forms an inner edge of the plate; the plate has a keyhole slot which provides for a passageway from a portion of the perimeter of the plate to the keyhole and has a width throughout the length of the slot sufficient to allow at least some portion of a swinging device shaft of a predetermined dimension to pass through the slot and fit into the keyhole, the keyhole perimeter has a predetermined size and shape so that when the plate is moved in a predetermined direction along the shaft of the club it provides a snug friction fit around the shaft at a preselected position or range on the shaft, the one or more plates having keyholes, keyhole slots and weights allowing for alternative, sequential or combined usage in training a user of the club to provide a training effect to the user's swing.

6. The system of claim 5 wherein the keyhole of each plate comprises a resilient coating around the keyhole's exterior which facilitates the ability of the plate to fit snugly against a club shaft in a friction fit.

7. The system of claim 5 wherein the keyhole slot of each plate comprises a resilient coating along the keyhole slot's length which facilitates the ability of the plate to slide onto a club shaft.

8. The system of claim 5 wherein one or more of the grinding plates comprises a swing tracking mechanism.

9. A method for swing training comprising obtaining or providing to a trainee one or more grinding plates, wherein each of the one or more grinding plates comprises a plate generally in the shape of a disc or cylinder, wherein the plate has a perimeter and a central locus, an interior, and an exterior surface; the plate has a keyhole whose central locus is largely coterminous with the central locus of the plate and has a keyhole perimeter having an exterior which forms an inner edge of the plate; the plate has a keyhole slot which provides for a passageway from a portion of the perimeter of the plate to the keyhole and has a width throughout the length of the slot sufficient to allow at least some portion of a swinging device shaft of a predetermined dimension to pass through the slot and fit into the keyhole; the keyhole perimeter has a predetermined size and shape so that when the plate is moved in a predetermined direction along the shaft it provides a snug friction fit around the shaft at a preselected position or range on the shaft, the one or more plates having keyholes, keyhole slots and weights allowing for alternative, sequential or combined usage of one or more plates in training a trainee's swing of the swinging device, thereby providing a training effect for the trainee's swing; applying one or more of the grinding plates to the shaft to snugly fit on the shaft; and swinging the swinging device one or more times to obtain the training effect.

10. The method of claim 9 wherein the keyhole of each plate comprises a resilient coating around the keyhole's exterior which facilitates the ability of the plate to fit snugly against the shaft in a friction fit.

11. The method of claim 9 wherein the keyhole slot of each plate comprises a resilient coating along the keyhole slot's length which facilitates the ability of the plate to slide onto the shaft.

12. The method of claim 9 wherein one or more of the grinding plates comprises a swing tracking mechanism.

13. The method of claim 9 wherein the swinging device is a golf club.

14. The method of claim 9 wherein the swinging device is a hockey stick.

15. The method of claim 9 wherein the swinging device is a tennis racquet.

16. The method of claim 9 wherein the swinging device is a baseball or softball bat.

17. The method of claim 9 wherein the swinging device is a racquetball racquet.

18. The method of claim 9 wherein the swinging device is a cricket bat.

19. The method of claim 9 wherein the method comprises obtaining or providing to a trainee a set of one or more grinding plates, each of which has a friction fit at a different preselected position or range on the shaft so that when two or more plates are used, they are able to be positioned on the shaft simultaneously.

20. The method of claim 9 wherein the method further comprises the step of exerting force upon the one or more plates once a training session has been ended to disrupt the friction fit and dislodge the one or more plates from the club.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The subject matter described herein relates generally to grinding plates for use in improving one's swing with a golf club and other such devices.

[0003] As with most sports involving swinging at an object, such as with a club, racquet, bat or stick, the sport of golf is largely about the "art of the swing". It is known that to be successful, the golfer must develop a strong, proficient, and repeatable stroke which is impervious to the particular golf course, situation, or even golf club he is using for a given shot.

[0004] A significant component in development of such a successful swing is training one's muscles, to "remember", and be able to repeat, the desired stroke. Technique, coordination and strength all play a role in mastering the golf stroke. The backswing is of particular importance.

[0005] Various golfer's swing aids have been devised to add weight to the golf club (or to replace the normal club with a weighted one) so that the golfer will have extra weight or resistance which allows the golfer to more readily repeat his desired swing when he hits a golf ball with his normally-weighted club. However, the standard golfer's swing training aid typically suffers from a variety of concerns. For example, the training aid may be difficult to attach and detach from the club, or take too long to do so. The attachment may be insecure or wobbly. Moreover, their position on the club shaft typically does not accommodate the training of different sets of muscle groups involved in the golfer's swing. Nor may such prior golfer's swing training aids allow for easy and progressive addition to the amount of weight employed as the golfer's proficiency and/or strength advances, or he or she seeks to train different muscle groups.

[0006] One approach commonly used for weighted-stroke training, is the use of a weighted golf club. However, this leaves the golfer in the situation of using a club whose grip, and possibly length and "feel" is foreign to his customary club's combination of such features, making the training session less productive, if not even counter-productive.

[0007] Thus, a need remains for a golf club (or other) swing training aid which readily attaches and detaches from the club shaft, provides a secure and snug fit in use, allows for training which "graduates" to greater weights or trains different muscle groups, and provides for swing training explicitly focused on the golfer's usual club, stance, setup and shaft lie. Other advantages and benefits are provided hereinbelow, or will be apparent to one skilled in this art from the below description.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] Accordingly, a grinding plate and set of grinding plates adapted for use in training one's swing is provided which addresses the needs and provides the advantages outlined herein. The grinding plate includes a plate generally in the shape of a disc or cylinder. The plate has a perimeter and a central locus, an interior and an exterior surface. The plate has a keyhole whose central point is largely coterminous with the central locus of the plate and has a keyhole perimeter having an exterior which forms an inner edge of the plate. The plate has a keyhole slot which provides for a passageway from a portion of the perimeter of the plate to the keyhole and has a width throughout the length of the slot sufficient to allow at least some portion of a club shaft of a predetermined dimension to pass through the slot and fit into the keyhole. The keyhole perimeter having an exterior has a predetermined size and shape so that when the plate is moved in a predetermined direction along the shaft of the club it provides a snug friction fit around the shaft at a preselected range or position on the shaft.

[0009] In further embodiments, a system for swing training including a set of one or more grinding plates is provided. Each of the grinding plates has the general configuration of the grinding plate described above. The system for training one's swing using the grinding plate set of the invention may comprise using increasingly heavier and/or larger dimensioned plates, each of which may be used alternatively, sequentially or in combination. In one preferred embodiment, the grinding plates are configured so that each plate, of the same or different weight, are dimensioned so that its keyhole perimeter having an exterior has a predetermined size and shape so that when each grinding plate of the set is moved along the shaft of the club in a predetermined direction, it provides a snug friction fit around the shaft at a different preselected range or point on the shaft from one or more other plates in the set, thereby allowing for two or more plates to be in simultaneous use according to the training system and method described herein.

[0010] In yet an additional aspect of the invention, a method is provided for training a golfer's swing. The method includes providing a grinding plate or set of grinding plates as set forth above. A plate is attached to swing device such as a golf club or tennis racquet by sliding the plate onto the shaft at a point on the shaft where the width of the keyhole slot is wider than the diameter of the shaft. When the shaft is placed fully inside the plate's keyhole, the plate is moved along the shaft to a preselected range or position on the shaft where it provides a snug friction fit sufficient to maintain the plate on the shaft as it is being lifted and swung. The method may be applied using two or more grinding plates simultaneously by using grinding plates where each has a snug friction fit location on the shaft at a different preselected range or point on the shaft's length. Upon ending the training session, enough force may be exerted on the plate in a direction to disrupt the friction fit, dislodge the plate and move it to a location on the shaft where it may be removed from the shaft by sliding it off the shaft at the keyhole slot.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] The presently disclosed subject matter will be better understood from reading the following description of non-limiting embodiments, with reference to the attached drawings, wherein below:

[0012] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the grinding plate of the invention in accordance with an exemplary embodiment.

[0013] FIG. 2 is a top view of the grinding plate shown in FIG. 1.

[0014] FIGS. 3-6 are bottom perspective views of grinding plates of the invention depicting correspondingly increasing weights of each grinding plate.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0015] The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description of certain embodiments will be better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. As used herein, an element or step recited in the singular and proceeded with the word "a" or "an" should be understood as not excluding the plural of said elements or steps, unless such exclusion is explicitly stated. Furthermore, references to "one embodiment" or "an embodiment" are not intended to be interpreted as excluding the existence of additional embodiments that also incorporate the recited features. Moreover, unless explicitly stated to the contrary, embodiments "comprising" or "having" an element or a plurality of elements having a particular property may include additional elements not having that property.

[0016] Various embodiments as described and shown herein provide a grinding plate, or set of grinding plates which make up and provide for a system and method for training one's swing of a swing device, e.g., a golf club, tennis or racquetball racquet, hockey stick, baseball, cricket or softball bat (i.e., generically, a "club", or "swing device" which, as used herein, is defined as any sports equipment which is swung and may be fitted with a grinding plate according to the principles of applicant's invention).

[0017] Using the embodiment of training one's swing of a golf club as illustrative for all such "swung" sporting equipment, the grinding plates of the invention address multiple needs in connection with training a golfer's swing. The grinding plates of the invention readily attach and detach from a club's shaft, yet fit snugly and safely to the club while it is being swung. Sets of the grinding plates allow for a training system wherein either progressively heavier plates may be employed, or an initial grinding plate may be supplemented with one or more additional plates being added. Importantly, the grinding plates of the invention permit the golfer to practice his or her swing using his or her usual club (with its own grip, shaft length and striking head), stance, set up and shaft lie.

[0018] Referring to the drawings, in exemplary embodiments, a grinding plate according to the invention 100 may be seen (see FIGS. 1-6).

[0019] The grinding plate 100 includes a body section 12 generally in the shape of a disc or cylinder. While likely less common, other shapes, e.g., octagonal or heptagonal, and configurations, besides discs and cylinders, so long as they provide the training effect desired and teachings herein, are also contemplated to be within the scope of the invention. The plate 100 has a perimeter 14, a central locus 16, an interior 18, and an exterior surface 20. The plate 100 has a keyhole 22 whose central locus 16 is largely coterminous with the central locus 16 of the plate 100. The keyhole has a perimeter/exterior 22a which forms the inner edge 22a of the plate 100. The plate 100 also has a keyhole slot 24 which provides for a passageway from a portion (14a to 14b) of the perimeter 14 of the plate 100 to the keyhole 22. The keyhole slot 24 has a width (24a to 24b) throughout the length 24c of the slot sufficient to allow at least some portion of a golf club shaft to pass through the slot 24 and fit into the keyhole 22. The keyhole perimeter/exterior 22a, which corresponds to the inner edge 22a of the grinding plate 100 has a predetermined size and shape so that when the grinding plate 100 is moved along the shaft of the club in a predetermined direction, it provides a snug friction fit around the shaft at a preselected position on the shaft.

[0020] The grinding plate 100 according to the invention may be made of metal or other hard, generally dense material as a disc or cylinder cut to a specific weight, diameter and width. In a preferred embodiment, the metal disc or cylinder may be semi- or completely-coated in, e.g., a plastic or rubber. This plastic or rubberized coating may extend to the keyhole perimeter/exterior 22a and keyhole slot 24, inter alia, to provide them with "give" or resiliency so as to aid in achieving the snug, friction fit designed for safe and effective use. Additionally, the coating is preferably of a highly durable grade of plastic or rubber, so as to be resistant to wear, weathering or chemical substances. In another preferred embodiment, the grinding plates are designed to be a continuum of pre-selected weights of increasing incremental amounts, such as, e.g., ranging from 1/2 to 1 to 2, 3, 4, 5, and so forth, up to 10 pounds and more. Additionally, the keyhole may be sized and shaped to permit the plates to fit at specified predetermined sections of a particular club shaft. For example, while specific dimensions, sizes and shapes will be highly dependent on the dimensions of club shafts to which the plates are applied, in certain embodiments, the diameter of the hollowed, cylindrical, middle "keyhole" 22 component, and the hollowed line, the keyhole slot 24, may range, e.g., from about 6 millimeters to about 15 millimeters in diameter. In situations where the club shaft has a highly non-circular dimension, e.g., where it is almost oblong or otherwise oddly shaped, the keyhole and/or keyhole slot may be configured to specifically align snugly with the dimensions of the irregular shaft. For example, the plate's keyhole may be heavily lined with a highly resilient, high-tensile strength rubber which stretches sufficiently to permit the plate's keyhole section to move along the club shaft despite the irregularities in the shaft's shape, but then to re-form to grasp the shaft at the point of intended friction fit, due to the resiliency provided, so as to ensure a snug, safe fit when in use.

[0021] In a preferred embodiment, the plates are manufactured using a cast metal technology. Specifically, in a more preferred process, the method comprises what those skilled in the art as producing "shell molded" ductile iron. However, those skilled in this art would appreciate that other molding and casting processes, e.g., shell molding, investment (wax) molding, green sand processing, and chemical set processing, may be utilized, provided they produce the features of strength, resiliency and any additional attributes desired to produce the plates having many or all of the qualities described herein.

[0022] The aforedescribed grinding plate may be provided as a set of one, two, or more grinding plates for use in a training system and method for a swing device by a golfer, tennis player, or other. Each of the grinding plates has the general configuration of the grinding plate described above. The system and method for training one's golf, tennis, or other swing using the grinding plate set of the invention may comprise using increasingly heavier and/or larger diameter plates, (or even the same or a lighter sequence of weights, e.g., where intended to train a sequence of various muscle groups requiring use of such a regimen). Each specifically-weighted and/or sized plate may be used alternatively, sequentially, or in combination over time to achieve a desired training effect. In a preferred embodiment, the one, two, or more grinding plates are dimensioned so that each plate, of the same or different weight, may be configured so that each has a keyhole perimeter having an exterior of a predetermined size and shape so that when the grinding plate is moved up the shaft of the golf club, it provides its snug friction fit around the shaft at a different preselected range or point on the shaft. This allows for two, three or even more plates to be in simultaneous use according to the training system and method desired.

[0023] Without departing from the principles of the invention, it is envisioned that the grinding plate(s) as described herein may be fitted or supplemented in certain embodiments, e.g., by the addition of a wireless electronic "swing tracking" feature known to those skilled in the art. Thus, as to this feature of the system of the invention, an instructor, observer, or the user, could have the actual arc, pathway and/or speed of the swing, among other things, visually, graphically or digitally recorded, saved, analyzed and depicted.

[0024] In an additional aspect, a method is provided for training one's swing. The method includes obtaining or providing a grinding plate or set of grinding plates as set forth above. A plate is attached to a swing device such as golf club or tennis racquet by sliding the plate onto the shaft at a point on the shaft where the width of the keyhole slot is wider than the diameter of the shaft. When the shaft is placed fully inside the plate's keyhole, the plate is moved along the shaft to a preselected range or position of the shaft where it provides a snug friction fit sufficient to maintain the plate on the shaft as it is being lifted and swung. The method described above may be applied using two or more grinding plates simultaneously by using grinding plates where each has a snug friction fit location on the club shaft at a different range or point of the shaft's length.

[0025] In particular, applying applicant's teachings to golf swing instruction, e.g., when a plate is applied to a typical golf club's shaft, the user will pull the plate up the golf club shaft to tighten the grip of the weighted plate at a preselected range or point on the golf club shaft, i.e., the plate is configured to have a keyhole of a size and shape to be snugly retained on the particular shaft at such preselected range or position on the shaft. This provides for a safe, snug "friction fit" as the club is swung with the plate or plates attached to the club. Thus, by repeatedly swinging the golf club weighted with the grinding plate(s) of the invention, the golfer builds up the strength and "memory" of his swing so that when he or she swings the club without the plates, his or her swing may be stronger and surer.

[0026] Thus, in use, the grinding plates avoid the need for a golfer to purchase specially weighted clubs, causing them to adjust their swing accordingly to fit that of an unfamiliar club. The user's regular club, stance, golf club setup and shaft lie are essentially unchanged while they develop their swing muscles, using the grinding plates of the invention. At the same time, the grinding plate system as described herein is highly customizable to the particular training regimen of its user. For example, it may be designed, while consistently employing the teachings herein, specifically for his or her level of skill, physical dimensions and attributes, and for a given individual's particular club size, shape and configuration, best weight range and other needs and preferences. As can be seen, these tools, methods and principles devised by applicant can be readily applied to other swing devices such as tennis racquets, hockey sticks and bats.

[0027] A particularly noteworthy advantage of the training system of the invention is the enhanced stability provided to the trainee's backswing, as the trainee is forced to swing more deliberately and slowly in compensation for the increased weight on the shaft. Moreover, as the trainee improves, he or she is able to add additional weight, with the gradual increase providing a way to steadily increase and improve one's strength and stability.

[0028] Moreover, the added weight provided by the grinding plate(s) help produce a wider swing arc. The trainee's hands may be pulled down and away from his or her body during the progress of the backswing with the grinding plate(s). As the backswing progresses, the added weight of the plate(s) pulls the club down with additional force as the user cocks his or her wrist and brings the golf club or other swing device to a vertical position in the backswing; thereby further increasing the size of the swing arc.

[0029] In a preferred embodiment of the method of using the grinding plates in a system to improve one's golf swing, the grinding plate(s) are used to explicitly ingrain a proper backswing technique. Thus, in this embodiment, they are preferably not used, e.g., in connection with the downswing or in connection with actually hitting a ball, although such uses, while not preferred compared to the backswing, are certainly not outside the scope of the invention. But, as a preferred method of ingraining a proper backswing technique, the user is forced to concentrate on posture, club head position, and proper hip and should rotation and a correct swing plane; thus, providing a specialized tool to enhance the development of these important skills.

[0030] According to the training method of the invention, when the user finishes his training session, the user may simply apply some force, e.g., with his hand, to disrupt the friction fit and push the plate back down the shaft or otherwise to a place to dislodge or loosen the plate and pull it off the shaft at any point where the width of the keyhole slot is greater than the diameter of the shaft. If multiple plates are being used, each may be dislodged and removed from the shaft of the swing device in this manner.

[0031] It is to be understood that the above description is intended to be illustrative, and not restrictive. For example, the above-described embodiments (and/or aspects thereof) may be used in combination with each other. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the various embodiments of the invention without departing from their scope. While the dimensions and types of materials described herein are intended to define the parameters of the various embodiments of the invention, the embodiments are by no means limiting and are exemplary embodiments. Many other embodiments will be apparent to those skilled in the art upon reviewing the above description. The scope of the various embodiments of the invention should, therefore, be determined with reference to the appended claims, along with the full scope of equivalents to which such claims are entitled. Examples are used herein to disclose and describe the various embodiments of the invention, including a best mode, and also to enable any person skilled in the art to practice the various embodiments of the invention, including making and using devices and systems and performing any incorporated methods. The patentable scope of the various embodiments of the invention is defined by the claims, and may include other examples that occur to those skilled in the art. Such other examples are intended to be within the scope of the claims if the examples have structural elements that do not differ from the literal language of the claims, or if the examples include equivalent structural elements with insubstantial differences from the literal languages of the claims.

* * * * *

File A Patent Application

  • Protect your idea -- Don't let someone else file first. Learn more.

  • 3 Easy Steps -- Complete Form, application Review, and File. See our process.

  • Attorney Review -- Have your application reviewed by a Patent Attorney. See what's included.