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The Right Call

What Sports Teach Us About Work and Life

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About The Book

An NPR best book of the year * New York Times bestseller

The Washington Post sportswriter and New York Times bestselling author of the “fascinating” (The Wall Street Journal) The Real All Americans presents a love letter to the extraordinary coaches and athletes she has covered over the years and the actionable principles of excellence they embody.

Sportswriter Sally Jenkins has spent her entire adult life observing and writing about great coaches and athletes. With her engaging and expert prose, she has helped shape the way we view these talented sports icons. But somewhere along the line, she realized, they had begun to shape her.

Now, she presents the astonishing inner qualities in these same people that pushed them to overcome pressure, elevate their performances, and discover champion identities. Based on years of observing, interviewing, and analyzing elite coaches and playmakers, such as Bill Belichick, Peyton Manning, Michael Phelps, and more, Jenkins reveals the seven principles behind success:


Discover how you can apply these same principles to your life and become your own champion. Colorful, inspirational, and accessible, The Right Call is the one stop shop for anyone wanting to learn how to effectively elevate themselves to greatness.

About The Author

credit Nicole Bengiveno

Sally Jenkins has been a columnist and feature writer for The Washington Post for more than twenty years. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2020 and in 2021 was named the winner of the Associated Press Red Smith Award for Outstanding Contributions to Sports Journalism. She is the author of twelve books of nonfiction including The Real All Americans, the story of the Carlisle Indian School and its use of football as a form of resistance following the close of the Indian Wars. Her work for The Washington Post has included coverage of ten Olympic Games. In 2005, she was the first woman to be inducted into the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University in 1982 and resides in New York.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Gallery Books (June 6, 2023)
  • Length: 272 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982122553

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Raves and Reviews

“Sleek as a wide receiver racing toward the end zone… [The Right Call is] packed with sophisticated reportage and epigrammatic insights that deliver on the promise of the subtitle…. [S]harp insights and intriguing anecdotes that fill the book prompt valuable reflection on one’s own performance under pressure and track record of decision-making. And it’s a joy to read.”
Wall Street Journal

“Wide-ranging psychological inspiration from a veteran Washington Post sportswriter and columnist…. Jenkins, who seems at home in every sport…draws useful lessons in leadership, self-discipline (“it’s a form of self-rule”), the aspiration to win, and, perhaps most important, the way in which the love of a game is transformational… A pleasure for self-help aficionados and buffs with an interest in the mental aspects of a variety of sports.”
Kirkus Reviews

“[The Right Call] is a masterpiece of spare, elegant prose that showcases her talent for reporting and writing while also providing a window into how the best of the best get that way. A true inspiration! I can’t recommend this book more highly.”
—William D. Cohan, New York Times bestselling author of Money and Power

“Jenkins combines the excitement of sports with the insights of self-help, and reveals a new way to think about greatness. The Right Call illustrates how elite sports has become a laboratory for observing, and learning about, leadership and life.”
—Charles Duhigg, New York Times bestselling author of The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better

“One of America’s greatest sports writers boils down the essential principles of the athletic mindset, and in cinematic detail, shows how we can all learn decision-making under pressure.”
—Robert Iger, New York Times bestselling author of The Ride of a Lifetime

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