The JLS Middle School 8th grade boys' basketball team won the league championship on Tuesday night, beating Abbot Middle School from San Mateo, 46-40.
The JLS team trailed the skilled and previously undefeated Abbott team by 12 points at the half, but came back strong in the third quarter. An active defense and a hot shooting streak, led by Chris Russell who hit a series of three-point shots to tie the game late in the third quarter, gave JLS a one-point lead going into the fourth.
JLS was then able to frustrate Abbott's offensive threats and beat its defensive press with solid team play. JLS also battled hard under the boards down the stretch to maintain a one-point lead with 1 1/2 minutes to play. When Abbott was forced to foul to get the ball back at the end, JLS made clutch free throws to clinch the game.
Earlier in the evening, at the same Ralston Middle School gym in Belmont, the JLS 7th grade boys won their league championship by beating Borel Middle School, also from San Mateo, and giving JLS a sweep of the boys' championships.
The Terman Middle School girls' 8th grade team won its third straight league championship this week, as well. The team has been unbeaten for three straight seasons.
A special tennis clinic that is free for youths up to eighth grade will be held at Stanford on Feb. 5. No advanced registration is needed. The day begins with registration at 10:45 a.m. on the track side of the tennis stadium, followed by a clinic at 11 a.m. that includes hitting with the Stanford Tennis Club.
A chalk talk presented by Stanford Director of Tennis Dick Gould and the members of the Stanford team follows at 11:35 a.m. At 11:50 a.m. there will be pizza, posters and prizes, followed by a noon tennis match between the UCLA and Stanford women.
High school students (9th-12th grade) may not participate due to NCAA rules. For additional information: http://www.norcal.usta.com/2011_campus_kids_days/
Jim Thompson, founder and executive director of the Stanford-based Positive Coaching Alliance, is one of three authors honored by the Institute for International Sport at the University of Rhode Island, which has selected three acclaimed books as the Institute's "2010 Sports Education Books of the Year."
The High School Sports Parent: Developing Triple-Impact Competitors by Thompson was selected for its concise and significant delivery of a game plan that parents can use to help their children make the most of their high school sports experience.
Thompson writes that those involved in youth and high school sports should pursue both winning and life lessons, the two goals of a Double-Goal CoachÂ®. In that framework, Thompson's book explains, high school sports parents should be "Second-Goal Parents, who concentrate on their child's character development while letting athletes and coaches focus on the first goal of winning on the scoreboard."
Beyond advancing this philosophy, the book is notable for providing specific techniques for ensuring one's children take life lessons from the various scenarios they face. For example, in the face of missing a potential game-winning shot, Thompson suggests parents help their children process the experience by asking such questions as "What did you learn from that experience? What was it like playing with the big-game pressure? What about the game can you feel good about even thought you lost?"
Such an approach helps high school athletes become the Triple-Impact Competitors mentioned in the book's sub-title, focused on improving themselves, their teammates, and the game as a whole. Thompson also includes sections on handling the unique challenges high school athletes face, including time management, dietary and sleep needs and the perils of steroid use.
The book also includes 10 case studies that parents can use to prepare themselves for scenarios that they and their high school athletes likely will see, such as injuries, difficult calls by officials, and ineffective coaching. Much is drawn directly from Thompson's own experience and delivered in simple, direct, personal terms. As he writes in the book's preface, "I've had three shots at high school sports – as athlete (a pretty long time ago!), sports parent and coach."