60 SPORTS IDIOMS for BUSINESS (part 1)

BATTER UP!!! This week we tackle sports idioms used in business.

Here are the first 20.

Check back next week for part 2.

I got a little carried away and chose 60 which I have broken up into 3 parts.

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Back the wrong horse horse racing

Means to make the wrong choice or support the wrong thing

We backed the wrong horse for manager and now we are paying the consequences.

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(the) Ball is in your court tennis

Means a decision or responsibility is yours alone

The decision is up to you. The ball is in your court now.

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Ballpark estimate/figure baseball

Means a guess or an estimate on a number

The budget for next year is just a ballpark figure; it may not be close to what we need.

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Batting a thousand baseball

Means to be successful at something, perfection

The team was batting a thousand by doing everything right.

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Behind the eight-ball pool

Means to be in a bad position

He was behind the eight-ball having been just hired and layoffs coming.

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Blind-sided American football

Means to not see something coming, to be caught off-guard

The boss was blind-sided by his surprise decision to quit.

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Bush league general team sports

Means amateurish actions, behavior or decisions

His idea to lie to the boss was bush league.

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Call the shots pool

Means to make the decisions, to be in charge

The boss made all the decisions, it was up to him to call the shots.

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Cover all of one’s bases baseball

Means to thoroughly plan and prepare for a situation

The boss covered all of his bases before implementing new rules.
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Down for the count boxing

Means to be beaten

The employee was down for the count after making his final fatal mistake.

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Down to the wire horse racing

Means to the last minute, the finish line

He procrastinated so much that the report would be finished down to the wire.

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Drop the ball baseball

Means to make lose control and make a mistake, to handle things badly

He really dropped the ball by not finishing the work in time for the meeting.

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End run American football

Means to use evasive tactics to bypass the competition

He was able to hide his work and pull an end run on all the others.

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Full-court press basketball

Means to make an all-out effort to achieve something

The sales department was trying to break all their records with a full-court press.

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Game plan American football

Means to have a strategy to proceed

I gave a specific game plan for the meeting.

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Get into the swing golf/tennis/baseball

Means to become comfortable doing something through practice

It took some time for the new employee to get into the swing of things.

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Get the ball rolling many sports

Means to begin something

The owner offered his idea first to get the ball rolling.

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Get to first base baseball

Means to get something going

***(warning… also means “French kissing” when used in the context of dating… be careful)***

After trying three times, he was able to get to first base with the client.

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Give one a run for one’s money horse racing

Means to attempt to beat or beat out someone else

The salesman was far behind the leader but he decided to try and give him a run for his money.

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Go to bat for someone baseball

Means to support someone by defending them

The intern asked for a full-time job and I decided to go to bat for her.

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Back next week with part 2.


 

000Rob Howard is the owner of Online Language Center. He is a teacher, tutor, trainer, material designer and author for English as a foreign language. He is also a consultant and has been a frequent speaker internationally regarding online retention as well as using technology in and out of the classroom. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts in the U.S., he is currently residing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. You may e-mail him at rob@onlinelanguagecenter.com.

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