What’s Sports Got To Do With It? The 25 Most Common Sports References in Business.

Let’s face it, using sports references is still extremely commonplace in business, despite a major shift in the gender balance within organizations, and attempts to be politically correct. I use them, you use them, and in most cases we have forgotten their root-meanings. 

The adoption of sports phraseology is driven primarily by two factors:

  1. The competitive nature of both categories—sports and business
  2. The expectation that those in business share the common experiences of sports.

Both factors are outdated (and sexist), but the terminology remains. I may have not “covered all of the bases” here, but think it’s a “clean start” and should get us “to the finish line.”

Here are THE FIVE’s take on the most commonly used sports references in business:

  1. Hit a home run
  2. Carry the ball
  3. Slam dunk
  4. Always on the ball
  5. Game plan
  6. Run with it
  7. Play hardball
  8. Call the shots
  9. Team player
  10. Sprint to the finish
  11. 11.Hit one out of the park
  12. This is a marathon
  13. Leveling the playing field
  14. Keeping your eye on the ball
  15. Send in the heavy hitters
  16. Take one for the team
  17. This is still the first quarter
  18. There is still a lot of time to go on the clock
  19. Fumbled
  20. Hat trick
  21. They're dancing in the end zone
  22. Step up to the plate
  23. The ball really lies in somebody else’s court
  24. Draft new employees
  25. Don't shoot and miss.
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