Useful Sport Idioms to Improve Your English

– If you are someone who loves sports, then you are definitely going
to love this idiom lesson. What’s up, everyone? My name’s Wes. This is Interactive English which is the place that you want to be to practice and improve
your English skills. And the way that you are going to improve your skills today is by
learning some new idioms. I’m going to teach you some idioms that are related to sports. That doesn’t mean that you
can only use these idioms when talking about sports. They can be used in a variety
of different situations and I’m gonna talk to
you about that today. And as I teach you these idioms and tell you the meaning, I’ll give you some example sentences as well as show you some videos so you can see how these idioms are used in context. So let’s begin. The first idiom is a tennis idiom and it is the ball is in your court. And what this means is
that it is up to you. It is your responsibility to do something or to make a decision. The ball is in your court. So example, when you’re playing tennis, you hit the ball to somebody else and then the ball is in their court. It’s up to them to act. So this can be used in
a variety of contexts. It could be used in
business in a negotiation. For example, maybe you make
an offer to buy something and then you’d say well,
okay here’s my offer, the ball is in your court. It is your responsibility
to make a decision now or tell me what you want to do. And we often use this idiom
as just a standalone statement and you would tell somebody, you know, the ball is in your court now. It’s up to you, the ball’s in your court. – Call me back. If you want. (sniffs) Ball’s in your court. (audience laughing) – I said no which means right
back in the driver’s seat. – So the ball is in his court? – The next idiom is to get off the hook. And if we’re talking about
hooks, you can probably guess that this is a fishing idiom. When you’re fishing, you use
a hook to catch the fish. So if the fish gets off the
hook, then they are able to escape danger. They’re able to escape punishment. And that’s exactly what this idiom means. You are escaping
responsibility for something that you are no longer responsible for this action that happened
that was bad or wrong. You are no longer going to
get punished for this thing. You are able to get off the hook. – I don’t have a choice. I guess I’m kinda hoping
you’ll come back over the rail and get me off the hook here. – So for example, when
I think of this idiom because I’m a teacher, I think of students that when they don’t do their homework and maybe there’s a
punishment and they’re trying to think of an excuse, I
might tell them and say, you know, you’re not gonna
get off the hook that easy. – You are not getting off
the hook that easy, mister. – And that is a common sentence
in which you might hear this idiom being used. That you would tell someone
that you’re not going to get off the hook that easy. That you need to be held responsible for something that happens. You’re not going to have
it completely removed. You’re gonna have to
suffer the consequences a little bit. You’re not gonna get
off the hook that easy. Then we have a baseball
idiom, go to bat for someone. To go to bat for someone
means just to defend somebody. So in baseball, when you go
to bat for another player, that you’re basically
helping that person out. They don’t have to bat because you’re going to do it for them. You’re going to help that person. You are going to defend them. – Just go to bat for them. – I’m tired of going to
bat for you and your show. – I wanna thank you for going
to bat for me last week. – Next is a hunting idiom and this idiom is used quite often and it is to give it your best shot. And often people would just say it as a sentence and just say
give it your best shot. And this means that you
should just try your hardest. Do your best. So when you’re hunting, even
though I’m not a hunter, you are shooting something
and you want to give it your best shot. You tell people this all the time whether they’re doing sports or business. You would tell them and encourage them and say give it your best shot. – Well, go ahead and
give it your best shot. – [Harry] Come on then
Nigel, gimme your best shot. – Stupefy! – Okay, O’Connor, gimme your best shot. – So for example, I
would tell you guys this. If you’re thinking that learning
English is too difficult, I don’t know if I could do it, I would encourage you and say, you know, give it your best shot. Just try your best. That’s all that we’re asking
you do, give it your best shot. Next is an idiom that
comes from horse racing and that is the home stretch. And if you’re talking
about the home stretch, you’re talking about the end. So when talking about horse racing, at the end of the race,
you might hear somebody say the horses are coming
down the home stretch. They’re getting close to the end. And you can use this when
you are getting close to the end of something, specifically when you’re
about to complete something or finish something. So with this lesson, I’m just
about halfway through it. I’m not quite in the
home stretch just yet. – We’re almost done, home stretch. – This is the home stretch. All we gotta do is focus. – Hang tough. You’re in the home stretch. – Next is a golf idiom and that is not up to par. So in golf, you have a
score that you try to get for each hole and if you match that score then that would be par. So that’s the average score. That’s what you want to do. If somebody’s not up to
par, then that just means that they’re not good enough
to do a job or a position. And you just don’t have
the skills or abilities to do something and somebody
might say, you know, yeah, you know, this
work, it’s not up to par. – So if I’m not up to
par performance-wise– – Jim, this isn’t exactly a turn on. – [Pete] There’s a thing
called Proposition 48 says that if your grades aren’t up to par and you take the SAT, if
you score 700 or more, you can get into college. – I hope these video lessons
are definitely up to par for you guys. I hope so. Next is a boxing idiom,
to throw in the towel. And in boxing, if somebody
throws in the towel, then that just means they give up, the match is over. And that’s exactly what it
means, to give up something. So if you’re tired of doing something, you don’t wanna do it anymore, you’d say, you know, I’m just
gonna throw in the towel. I’m done, I give up. Or you might hear it being
used that somebody’s, you know, they’re trying to encourage you and tell you not to give up and they’d say don’t throw in the towel. Don’t throw in the towel just yet. Keep going, keep working hard. – They’re throwing in the towel. He says once the debts are paid, there won’t be too much left. – Round after round, I kept
getting Frank in to patch me up. And he’s talking about
throwing in the towel but he ain’t my manager. He can’t throw in nothin’. – Maybe it’s time to throw in the towel. – If you guys are thinking, you know, I’m done learning English,
it’s too difficult, I don’t wanna do it. I would tell you, don’t give up, don’t throw in the towel just yet. And I’m not gonna let you
off the hook that easy. I’m always going to
encourage you and tell you to keep going and give it your best shot. (chuckles) And I’m just
gonna keep using these idioms over and over so that
you’ll remember them. Let’s just keep going. We’re coming down the home stretch which means we’re getting close to the end but don’t leave just yet. I have some more great idioms for you. And this next one is a football idiom. It’s an American football idiom. And I’m sure some of you
might be rolling your eyes like, uh, American football. (chuckles) Nobody watches that. But this idiom is a good
one and it is blind sided. And if somebody is blind sided, it just means that they did
not see something coming. They did not expect this thing to happen. You were blind sided by something. So for example, somebody
might tell you some news that is shocking, like, oh
they’re getting a divorce. And you’re like, oh my goodness. I was just blind sided by this. – It’s like you’re as blind sided by this as I was. (audience laughing) – I can’t believe she
blind sided me like this. Being so nice and friendly to my face. – So when you’re blind sided,
it’s not really a good thing. It’s something that you weren’t expecting and you would be blind sided by something. So we often use it with
the preposition by. I was blind sided by this
thing that was not good and I was surprised. I was blind sided. Then we have a basketball
idiom, slam dunk. This is probably a phrase
that you’ve heard before especially if you’re a basketball fan. In basketball, a slam dunk
is when you take the ball and you slam it and hang onto the rim. Yeah, I can’t slam dunk the basketball. I can’t jump. So if something is a slam
dunk, then it just means it’s a sure thing. It’s easy to do, it’s easy to accomplish. You know that you’re gonna do this thing and you say, well, you
know, it’s a slam dunk. So you’re watching this video right now and I’m thinking like, hmm,
I wonder if they’re gonna hit that like button. But I know,
(button pops) but I know, you know, it’s a slam dunk. It’s a sure thing. You’re gonna hit that like button. Right? Unless you think this
lesson’s not up to par. – It’s a slam dunk. – I hope it’s a real slam dunk. – To me, this decision is a slam dunk. – The next idiom is call the shots. This is a billiards idiom because when you’re playing billiards, you often have to call your
shots and point to the pocket where you want to shoot the ball. So if somebody calls
the shots, it just means they are making the decisions. You might often hear
this idiom in business because there’s a hierarchy
of people from the boss, the manager, and then you. And your boss would call the shots. They would be making the decisions. – I call the shots, I do what I wanna do. – So you’re calling the shots now, huh? – Gonna see nothing but
the bench this year. – He ain’t callin’ the shots. You’ll play. – So I’m a bit curious if you knew some of these idioms already. I hope that you weren’t
completely blind sided by these idioms and I
hope that you can go on to use them and try to use them
and give it your best shot. But because this is Interactive English, I have a bonus idiom for you.
(tada music) And this is going to be a question and I want you to click
on the correct answer. Before I ask you this question and you go off to another video, I want you to hit that like button if you enjoyed learning these idioms. So are you ready? Are you ready for your bonus idiom? What does it mean to hit below the belt? What do you think? Click on the correct meaning. If something is below the belt, it’s a martial arts idiom. What do you think it means? If you don’t know, please don’t give up and don’t throw in the towel. Just choose one, give it your best shot. Which one do you think it means? Click on the correct answer. Or the video’s just gonna end.


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