10 Sports Idioms You’re Using at Work

10 Sports Idioms You’re Using at Work was originally published on Vault.

Since the jaw-dropping Super Bowl game on Sunday, football has been a major topic of conversation in my office. This got me thinking about how sports and business intersect in the workplace. Though not immediately apparent, there are many similarities between the worlds of business and sports, from their environments comprised of teams and leaders to best practices such as developing strategies and setting goals. Yet the similarity that stands out to me the most has to do with language; many of us incorporate sports references into our business conversations every day, often without even realizing it. Here are 10 of the most common sports idioms used in the workplace. 1. Touch base Derived from: Baseball Meaning: To connect with or briefly meet Ex: “I need to touch base with my coworker to make sure I understand all the steps of this project.” 2. Game plan Derived from: Any sport Meaning: A strategy worked out in advance Ex: “Our team needs to develop a game plan for growing our social media presence this year.” 3. Drop the ball Derived from: Football/baseball Meaning: Make a mistake Ex: “He really dropped the ball when he forgot to get final approval by the due date.” 4. Up to par Derived from: Golf Meaning: Up to standard Ex: “The client did not think the deck our team put together was up to par, so we had to make a lot of changes.” 5. Blindsided Derived from: Football Meaning: Caught unprepared Ex: “The manager was blindsided when his employee accepted a job at another company with no notice, right before the busiest quarter of the year.” 6. Strike out Derived from: Baseball Meaning: To fail Ex: “She really struck out on that deal; the client immediately rejected her pitch.” 7. Learn the ropes Derived from: Sailing Meaning: To understand how to do a particular job Ex: “The intern quickly had to learn the ropes so he could help plan the company event that week.” 8. Knock it out of the park Derived from: Baseball Meaning: To do something extraordinarily well Ex: “Her presentation was clear, informative, and engaging. She really knocked it out of the park.” 9. On target Derived from: Darts Meaning: On schedule to succeed Ex: “We are on target to meet our budget for this month.” 10. Take a rain check Derived from: Baseball Meaning: To accept an offer for a later time Ex: “I’d love to grab coffee this week but may need to take a rain check, as I’m up against several deadlines right now.”

By Isabel Sperry - Vault
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