Sports related business idioms.

When doing business in English you will hear a lot of idiomatic expressions. They can relate to all sorts of areas like war, fire, health. One of the biggest areas is sports. If you want to use these Business English phrases, it would be useful to have an understanding of what they are and what they mean.

Let’s take a look at some of the expressions we use, in what situations and what sport they relate to.

Kick off – to start

Example: Good Morning everyone. Shall we kick off the meeting then? (Football)

On target – making good progress and likely to achieve what has been planned

Example: It looks like we are pretty much on target with this project. (Archery)
Up to scratch – to be of a good standard

Example: I know we have a great team whose work is really up to scratch. (Track and Field)

Know the ropes – to be able to do something well

Example: Our new Sales Director has a lot of experience and really knows all the ropes. (Sailing)

Ballpark figure – a rough estimate

Example: Can you give me a ballpark figure on the total sales costs? (Baseball)

Jump the gun – to do something too soon, especially without thinking about it carefully

Example: We still have some costs to factor in and I don’t want to jump the gun. (Track and Field)

In pole position – to be in the best possible position

Example: We are in pole position to win the contract. (Motor Racing)

Neck and neck – to have the same chance of winning as someone else

Example: We are neck and neck with our competitors, so we really need to work hard to maintain our market share. (Horse Racing)

The ball in our court – to be in a position to make the next step

Example: We have done what we can, the ball is in your court now. (Tennis)
Take our eye off the ball – to make a mistake, especially by doing something carelessly

Example: We really cannot take our eye off the ball with this deal as it will be a real winner for us. (Football)

Enjoy the lesson!

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