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Training tool helps athletes keep a steady head

Idea for product originally came from balancing Beanie Babies on clients' heads
By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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Tamara Norris turned her daughter?s Beanie Baby collection into a tennis training tool and now she?s making money on a sports training product called Steady Headz. Norris, an El Dorado Hills resident who has been a tennis professional for more than 12 years, began playing tennis more than 20 years ago when her daughter, Karyssa, was old enough for daycare. Her passion for the sport quickly got her involved into teaching the sport to others. One day about 10 years ago she brought her daughter?s Beanie Babies to a peewee tennis class she was teaching and had the kids throw, catch and balance the dolls on their heads as a training exercise. ?What a difference it made,? Norris said. ?It helped them with their concentration, focus and ability and they had fun doing it at the same time. As funny as they looked with Beanie Babies on their heads, it worked.? Several years passed before Norris gave serious thought to taking a creative step with the Beanie Babies as a training tool. Just last year she focused on developing a product to promote a steady head. What she came up with was an adjustable ring that sits on an athlete?s head. Last November she contacted a manufacturer in China and in May she received her product, Steady Headz. ?It?s a balance aid,? Norris said. ?I started using it with tennis, but it can be used for many other sports including golf, baseball, gymnastics, bowling, pool and even rehab for stroke victims.? Don Schley, a Folsom resident whose son, Aaron, 13, was having trouble staying balanced on the pitching mound, bought the first Steady Headz once Norris received her product. ?Aaron was having trouble with his balance as he was falling off the mound sideways,? Schley said. ?Knowing it?s on his head, he tried to keep it from falling off. He used it twice for about 20 minutes and since then he was one of the most accurate pitchers in his league and was chosen for All-Stars. He was spot on after he used it. It worked phenomenally well for us.? Bryan Solem, a tennis professional in Folsom, has also found success using Steady Headz. ?I tried it on a couple of clients and it worked pretty well,? Solem said. ?It keeps their heads from bouncing around like bobbleheads. It puts them in a better position to see the ball, hit the ball and to be balanced for the ball. It worked on both kids and adults.? Steady Headz sells for $15 and can be found at sporting good stores. For more information on the product, visit steadyheadz.com.