American Idioms – Idiom Wizard Lists Over 5,500 Idioms & Slang Descriptions

Get on the ball


Be alert to improve one’s performance. Pay attention. Also used as ‘get on the stick’. ‘Ball’ is used to mean paying attention, being alert. May have been a baseball reference where a batter must watch the ball closely to make a good swing. The reference to ‘stick’ may just as well mean a bat (stick). (Compare to On one’s toes.)

“You’ve worked here for 3 months and still can’t perform your job, so I want you to get on the ball or you are out of here.”

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