(to be) on the ball

Idiom Definition

"to be on the ball"

to be quick to understand;

to be quick to react to situations usually due to being prepared

Idiom Definition - to be on the ball


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - to be on the ball

Sally is giving a big presentation for a group of potential clients.  The presentation could lead to a business contract that will bring Sally's company a lot of money.  During the presentation, Sally notices that the potential clients are becoming bored and uninterested.  Sally quickly changes her presentation to make it more interesting to the clients.  The result is that the clients become interested and excited and give Sally's company a big contract.

Sally was on the ball when she noticed the clients boredom and quickly switched her presentation.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - to be on the ball

Reg is training a new employee to use the inventory control system at the warehouse where they work...

Reg's Boss:  How's the new man doing?

Reg:  Really well.  I only need to show him each procedure one time and he understands right away.

Reg's Boss:  The new man is really on the ball, then.

Reg:  Absolutely!

to be on the ball - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   445   click for frequency by country

to be on the ball - Gerund Form:

Being on the ball is a great way to be noticed at work.

to be on the ball - Examples:

1)  I am on the ball if I understand things quickly.

2)  You are on the ball after a good night's sleep.

3)  He is on the ball when he reacts quickly to changing situations.

4)  She is on the ball when she anticipates changing conditions.

5)  We are on the ball when we react quickly and accurately to the opposing team's changing plays.

6)  That new advertising company is certainly on the ball.

7)  You (all) are on the ball when you completely understand the professor's lecture.

8)  They are on the ball because they diagnosed the computer problem within five minutes.

9)  That was fast. Someone out here was on the ball

10)  We all agree that he is not very good on the ball, is a lousy distributor, and lately has been a turnover machine.

11)  Stay on the ball. Get plenty of rest and try to keep a business schedule.

12)  Oh I agree with you Samsung's legal team was not on the ball, late filings, missteps abound and perhaps Samsung will chose to replace them.

13)  Your blog was essentially on the ball and i agree with much of your commentary..

14)  Lets just say, someone needed to get on the ball!

15)  It is high time to get on the ball and face this brave new world.

16)  Sorry I wasn't more on the ball. I was... comatose.

17)  People that think that she has anything on the ball are just plain stupid. 

18)  I have hundreds of scripts, just haven't gotten on the ball enough to actually follow-through.

19)  Everybody else who was over there had something on the ball, something they were doing, something constructive.

20)  Congress better get on the ball and get some answers, cause many of us are angry.