Last updated at 11:06 BST, Friday, 03 August 2012

To have your eye on the ball

Wang Hao of China watches the ball during a table tennis match.

Wang Hao of China watches the ball during the table tennis men’s gold medal singles match against Zhang Jike. Photo: Saeed Khan.

Today's Phrase

If you have your eye on the ball, you are very focused and alert.

For example:

I've got my driving test this afternoon. I really need to keep my eye on the ball if I'm going to pass.

I'm going on safari today. If I keep my eye on the ball, I might be lucky and see a lion!

Keep your eye on the ball with this project – we need to make sure we deliver it on time!

Don't confuse it with

If you drop the ball, you make a mistake or let something go wrong.

For example:

I really dropped the ball in that interview – there's no chance I'll get the job.

Interesting fact

It was an all-China final in the London 2012 men's singles table tennis. Wang Hao took on Zhang Jike in this third consecutive Olympics final, but was outclassed by Zhang's superb form and was beaten 4-1. China has always dominated this popular global game, in which the ball can be hit over 180 times per minute.

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