Verbs to talk about sports and useful expressions

What you do with a ball (with your hands)

pass = throw the ball to another player on your team vocabulary sports brickfield
“Pass the ball quickly!”

throw = push the ball into the air with your hands
“She threw the ball into the air.”

catch = take the ball with your hands when someone passes to you
“Her team member caught the ball.”

serve = begin play (for example, in tennis)
“She served an ace.”

return = hit the ball back (for example, in tennis)
“He returned the ball to continue the rally.”

ground = make the ball hit the ground (especially in volleyball)
“He grounded the ball and won the point.”

bounce = make the ball hit the ground and come up in the air again
“The ball bounced once and the player hit it back over the net.”

hit = make contact with the ball
“He hit the ball with his racket.”

bowl = throw the ball fast with your hands towards the opposing player in cricket
“Ne bowled to the batsman.”

What you do with a ball (with your feet)

pass = kick the ball to another player on your team
“He passed the ball back to the goalkeeper.”

kick = move the ball with your feet
“He kicked the ball into the net.”

dribble = keep kicking the ball as you go forwards (before trying to pass to another player)
“He dribbled the ball past the defender.”

tackle = try to take the ball from another player
“Be careful when you tackle!”

shoot = try and kick the ball into the net
“Dalglish shoots, but misses.”

Phrasal Verbs related to sports

To bulk up = To gain weight and muscle

To cool down = To do movements/stretching after your main exercise to get it back to normal

To drop out = To leave a competition or race

To give up = To surrender/quit

To join in = To take part in a sporting event or match

To knock out = To hit someone so hard they become unconscious.

To take part = To be involved in an activity with other people.

To take up = To become interested or engaged in a pursuit.

To warm up = To do movements/stretching to get your muscles/body ready for exercise

To work out = To do exercise routines/sessions

give phrasal verb

Other useful verbs

head = use your head to hit the ball
“He headed the ball into the back of the net.”

run = move quickly
“He ran past the defender.”

race = try to move faster than someone else
“They both raced for the ball.”

sprint = run quickly for a short distance
“The runner sprinted to the finish line.”

jump = move upwards into the air
“The goalkeeper jumped up to catch the ball.”

dive = fall to the ground to make it look that an opposing player has tackled you badly (especially in football)
“If you dive in the match, you might get a yellow card.”

(commit a) fault = do something wrong
“If you commit a foot fault, you’ll lose the point.”

(commit a) foul = do something “illegal” or unsporting to hurt another player
“He fouled the other player who then got a penalty shot.”

blow the whistle = when the referee signals the end of the (football) match
“He blew the whistle at half time.” vilareal football song

win = be the player or team that gets victory
“We’ve won every match this season!”

lose = be the player or team that doesn’t get victory
“She lost in three straight sets.”

score = get a point or a goal
“He’s scored all the goals this season.”

draw = have the same score as the opposing team
“They drew 1-1.”

Sport idioms

What’s great about idioms is that they add new meaning and a creativity to how you express yourself. One idiom can often say far more than a whole sentence. Here are some sports idioms to you can use to talk about many things.

Another string to your bow Another skill/ability
To dive in head first To start doing something 100%
To get off on the wrong foot To start a relationship badly
To jump through the hoops To do what you are told to do
To do something off your own bat To take the initiative and do something on your own
To get off to a flying start To make a successful start
To be on the ball To be sharp and to know everything that’s happening
Plain sailing Without any problems
To run rings around someone To be far superior to someone else
The name of the game The core priority. “Speed is the name of the game in athletics”
You can’t win them all It’s impossible to win every match/contest
You win some you lose some It’s normal to lose some matches/contests
To be out of your league When the other competitors are far superior to you

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