The idiom ‘on the ball' means to be ‘alert’ or ‘quick to react’. This video explains the meaning of the idiom 'on the ball' in English. We explain how to use it with some easy examples for Social and Business English.
Being ‘on the ball’ means being alert to new ideas, methods and trends. It also indicates competence and intelligence, and swiftness to respond. Someone who is ‘on the ball’ is very aware of what is happening around them, or is very competent in their work or other things they do. They are also ready for what is happening and react quickly, appropriately and competently.
To have your ‘eye on the ball’ means to give all your focus and attention to something by being alert and ready. Oppositely, if you ‘take your eye off the ball’ it means to take your attention off something or to be distracted.
The idiom ‘on the ball’ is commonly heard in both social and professional environments.
I'm lucky my wife was on the ball this morning or else I would have left the house without my wallet. I can be such a scatterbrain sometimes!
The meeting with the prospective client tomorrow has the potential to make or break my business, so I really need to make sure I'm on the ball. A good night's sleep will help.