While it may seem on the surface that the world of business and the world of sports are completely separate animals, but if you dissect the players, objectives, and roles, more and more similarities are visible. Sports lingo can be easily applied to the world of business if you look at both business and sports through a similar lens. There is much to learn in business through the metaphors that come from the world of sports. Here are a few:

Down to the Wire

When you are “down to the wire” it means that you are nearing a deadline, etc. for a certain task. This phrase came from horse racing where a wire would be stretched across the finish line. In business, some people thrive working “down to the wire”, however working up to a deadline doesn’t give you time to revise your work, and often can make a sloppy product.

Dropped the Ball

This metaphor has a very obvious meaning: you were meant to catch the ball and you dropped it. “Dropping the ball” in sports and in business means you’ve let your team down, and prolonged reaching the ultimate goal (a touchdown, a business objective, you name it). While a fumble can be unintentional, it is always important to own up to your mistakes in sports and in business.

Hail Mary

A “Hail Mary pass” got its name in 1975 when “Roger Staubach threw a game-winning touchdown pass to wide receiver Drew Pearson during an NFL playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings”. In business, a “Hail Mary” refers to a sudden and unexpected win. It is when you try something that may not work out – and odds aren’t in your favor – but it does anyway. This phrase or action can be equated to putting yourself out there for a raise, cold calling a client, or any number of risky moves. It is always good to take calculated risks to go further in life and in business.

Game of Inches

From Al Pachino’s famous speech in “Any Given Sunday”, the message that life and sports (or business) are a game of inches. The message is that you have to take life an inch at a time and slowly you’ll progress forward. This saying is particularly motivating when you feel you’re in a dead-end job, are frustrated with a project, or simply can’t get through your long day. Take it a little at a time and be meaningful with how you spend each minute.