Single Sundays: Playing the Long Game by Christine Sinclair

Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:

Synopsis for Playing the Long Game (from Goodreads):

For the first time in depth and in public, Olympic soccer gold-medalist Christine Sinclair, the top international goal scorer of all time and one of Canada’s greatest athletes, reflects on both her exhilarating successes and her heartbreaking failures. Playing the Long Game is a book of earned wisdom on the value of determination and team spirit, and on leadership that changed the landscape of women’s sport.

Christine Sinclair is one of the world’s most respected and admired athletes. Not only is she the player who has scored the most goals on the international soccer stage, male or female, but more than two decades into her career, she is the heart of any team she plays on, the captain of both Canada’s national team and the top-ranked Portland Thorns FC in the National Women’s Soccer League.
Working with the brilliant and bestselling sportswriter Stephen Brunt, who has followed her career for decades, the intensely private Sinclair will share her reflections on the significant moments and turning points in her life and career, the big wins and losses survived, not only on the pitch. Her extraordinary journey, combined with her candour, commitment and decency, will inspire and empower her fans and admirers, and girls and women everywhere.


SERIESous’ Top Picks: Canadian Author
Author: Christine Sinclair
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: January 1, 2022
Source & Format: Public Library–Audiobook


Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I consider myself to a fan of the Canadian Women’s Soccer team. I’ve been fortunate to see them play in person for a few games over the years and I try my best to watch their games on TV when they are playing in major tournaments (which isn’t always the easiest thing to do as Christine highlights in her book). I’ve always admired Christine’s strength and leadership on and off the field, so I couldn’t wait to learn more about her and get her take on some pivotal soccer moments.

The Concept:

Basically the novel highlights Christine’s career and life from when she was a kid until now (2022). I enjoyed that it bounced around a bit, interspersing moments from previous Olympics with her memories as a kid or flash-forward to current experiences. It was a good way to link everything together and see how moment A lead to moment B, but how moment C makes her look back differently at moment A. That sounds complicated but I promise it is easy to follow!

The Writing:

I appreciated Christine’s humble take on everything in her career. She’s honest but kind about her competitors in a genuine way that I admire. I never felt like she was saying anything just because she was expected to. It felt like it came from the heart and I appreciated her candor.

My Audiobook Experience

It would have been great if the audiobook was narrated by her but after reading this, I understand why she wouldn’t want to do that. She’s a person who likes to shy away from the spotlight and I could see her be nervous to do such a task.

Did it Impact My Life?

As a girl who played soccer in Canada, I appreciated how much our National Team has fought for respect and equality. One thing Christine emphasized was how she never really saw female athletes when she was a girl and never thought of it as a viable career. While I was never good enough to be a professional athlete in any of the sports I played, I was fortunate to see women play the games I did through the Olympics and other avenues. It’s something you really don’t think about—but I think that’s the point. You shouldn’t see it as anything special, it should just be the norm like it is with men’s athletics and I hope that happens. It happened for my generation because of women like Christine Sinclair and I give her kudos for that.

My Rating: 4/5


It’s a quick read but worthwhile. Fans of women’s sport will enjoy this take from an icon.

Read if You Like: memoirs, soccer
Avoid if You: non-fiction

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