For years, sports metaphors have been used to reference business activities. They are used so much that many people don’t even realize when they’re using them. Not having a clear and basic understanding of sports key terms can make business conversations difficult since sports metaphors are so widely used.
For example, a business associate may reference a home run indicating that someone hit the mark. However, if you are unaware of what it means to hit a home run – a favorable result in the game of baseball – then you may not realize that this is a positive statement. To level the playing field, it’s important that you gain a better understanding of sports key terms so that you can intelligently make references to parallels between business and sports.
Game planA game plan is a sports term that refers to a strategy when used in the business environment. Like a game plan, a business strategy is used to outline how the company will go about achieving its goals and what team will be used to do so.
Leveling the playing fieldThis common sports phrase is used in the business environment to reference fairness. Leveling the playing field is a term often used during business negotiations.
Heavy hittersThis sports phrase is used to signal the need for individuals who can bring favorable results in a hard, fast and assured manner. Heavy hitters are the most sought-out individuals in business.
Team buildingThis is a sports analogy that compares business teams to those of sports teams. Theoretically, team building in a business environment is a strategy used to merge the ideas of talented employees to create one or a few great ideas to move the business forward.
Ball hogIn sports, a ball hog is a player who doesn't take advantage of the talents of other players. Similar to sports, a ball hog in the business world is someone who takes control of projects without delegating work to other capable employees.
Keep your eye on the ballIn business, there are a great deal of distractions with emails, cell phones and the Internet. This phrase is typically used to indicate the need to focus on tasks to accomplish goals.
- While sports key terms often make effective metaphors for business, it's a good idea to know your audience and use sports analogies appropriately.