silluettes of people playing different sports, and a slogan "idioms"

Idioms: sports performance

Worksheet overview


This ESL lesson is dedicated to idioms used to talk about sports performance. You can use it to talk about matches, competitions and tournaments, including the Olympic games. Students will learn and practice 13 idioms.

The first 8 idioms (e.g. be at the top of your game, be in the zone, second to none, be off your game, run rings round someone, leave someone in the dust, snatch victory from the jaws of defeat) are introduced through a dialogue between 2 commentators of a basketball game. Students match the idioms to their definition. Then, they choose the correct word to complete 7 sentences. After that, the rest of the idioms (be out of one’s league, to up your game, win hands down, be on a roll, be on fire) are introduced through 5 short dialogues.

To practise, students complete 5 sentences with the correct idiom. Then, they paraphrase 6 sentences. 

The rest of the activities are focused on speaking. First, students debate 4 questions given, Then, they give examples of teams or athletes according to the talking points given. Finally, they are asked to create a dialogue, commenting on a sports game they’ve seen recently.


Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Student’s interactive PDF

This worksheet works well in combination with the following lesson plans

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