Shooting and training aid for basketball players
Patent Number: US 7442133 B2
Filed on May 19, 2006
Issued on October 28, 2008
Inventor: Jay W. Wolf
Assignee: Star Shooter Company, LLC
U.S. Classification: 473/450; 482/124
One of the issues basketball players often face is not having a consistent shooting form. This problem partly occurs due to “off-hand interference”. “Off-hand interference” occurs when forces from the non-shooting hand interrupt the shooting hand when a shot is being generated. Instead of the shooting hand being used to generate a shot, both hands are used which causes an altered shot trajectory. Is there a way to fix this issue? The shooting and training aid for basketball players may provide a possible solution.
This shooting aid consists of three main components. The first component is a band that is strapped onto the non-shooting arm just above the elbow. The second component is a strap with two ends. One end of the strap is attached to the band just above the elbow while the other end of the strap consists of a loop. The loop will be placed on the base of the thumb of the non-shooting hand. The third, and final, component is a second strap. This strap also has two ends. One end of the strap is attached to the first strap at the base of the loop while the other end consists of a pocket. This pocket will be placed onto the middle finger of the non-shooting hand. As the basketball player shoots, the three components will tighten causing the thumb, middle finger, and other three fingers to release from the ball. By releasing the non-shooting hand from the ball, a more precise shot will be created. For a visual representation of the shooting aid, refer to Figure 1 below.
Figure 1: The shooting aid prior to starting the shooting formation (left) and directly after releasing the ball (right).
After the shooting aid has properly been placed onto the non-shooting arm, the basketball player will catch the ball then begin his/her shooting form. Once the arms raise the ball above the head, the three components of the shooting aid will stretch causing the non-shooting arm and hand to tighten. As the arm and hand tighten, the shooting aid will straighten and pull back the thumb and middle finger away from the ball. This will cause the other three fingers to also straighten and be pulled back. The non-shooting hand will then separate from the ball and the basketball player will be able to finish his/her shooting formation.
The engineering behind this device is in the forces that are prevented from being generated. The inventor claims that without using the shooting aid, the non-shooting hand has the ability to generate two forces that can alter a shot. The two forces are from a push in the vertical plane by the thumb and a rotation of the wrist inward in the horizontal plane causing the fingers to drag along the ball. By tightening the non-shooting arm and hand, the device is able to abduct the non-shooting arm away from the basketball as the player shoots so that the shooting arm is only used when generating a shot.
This device would work best for basketball players at any level who want to improve their shooting form as well as their shooting percentages. For example, children who are new to the game can use this device to learn how to shoot a basketball. From past experience, I know how difficult it is to correct your shooting form after initially learning how to shoot in a different way. This device would be beneficial for novices to the game so that they can learn how to shoot properly as early as possible.
This device is novel in the sense that it is one of the few shooting aids that focus on the non-shooting arm. Previous patents have focused mainly on the shooting arm with the goal of teaching basketball players how to follow through with their shot, not on the negative influences of the non-shooting arm. This device is also unique because it is the first shooting aid that prevents the fingers from dragging on the basketball as one shoots. The inventor of this device proposed two other patents in the past that focused on preventing forces by the thumb, but this device combines the previous concept with the concept of preventing the fingers from negatively influencing a shot.
I chose this patent mainly because I play basketball recreationally and have had difficulties in keeping a constant shooting form. It is interesting to see how a slight touch to the basketball from the non-shooting hand can have such adverse effects on a shot. Hopefully this device will help basketball players improve their performance and maybe I could try this device out to see if I can develop a more efficient shooting form.
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