Sports metaphors can be effective descriptors at work – if everyone is on the same page and understands the correct meaning. Each week we’ll take a look at a familiar sports phrase or metaphor in business, identify its origin, explain its meaning and demonstrate how to use it in business.
This is a tennis reference meaning it’s your turn to do something. In tennis, hitting the ball over the net put it in the opponent’s court. You can only play a ball that’s in your court.
Business Application: In business this phrase can be used to get people to take action. If the ball is in someone’s court that person is the only one who can make a move and without action from that person everyone else is at a standstill. Here’s an example:
- I did the research on where we should have the company retreat this year and now I’m waiting for a decision from Bill. The ball is in his court now.
*Take these definitions with a grain of salt. They’re based on years of being a fan and more than a decade in sports broadcasting and Jen’s status as America’s Expert Talker.