take (one's) eye off the ball

(redirected from taken their eye off the ball)

take (one's) eye off the ball

To fail to remain focused on or motivated about some goal, objective, or matter at hand. You can't take your eye off the ball just before this merger deal is supposed to go through, not when there is so much at stake! I was on my way to earning my PhD, but I really took my eye off the ball toward the end of the program.
See also: ball, eye, off, take

take your eye off the ball

If you take your eye off the ball, you stop paying attention for a moment to something you are doing, and as a result something bad happens. You can't take your eye off the ball for a moment on this project. Compare with keep your eye on the ball.
See also: ball, eye, off, take
References in periodicals archive ?
Cardiff have taken their eye off the ball in terms of their league form ever since they got in the final.
Napoli have taken their eye off the ball in Serie A as they concentrate on the Coppa Italia and Champions League, but even so this is a game they should win and Cavani is the man most likely to lead them to victory.
Shadow Treasury Minister Chris Leslie said: "David Cameron and George Osborne have completely taken their eye off the ball on the euro crisis.
With employers focused on getting through the recession, many will have taken their eye off the ball in offering flexible working.
They have taken their eye off the ball, and now they have to ask for voluntary redundancies such is their dire financial straits.
But they don't want to leave themselves and their boss open to criticism that they have taken their eye off the ball at Eastlands, particularly if City suffer adverse results around the time Pearce would be away with the Under-21s next month and in March.
Having made great strides to involve supporters following the badge change incident, not least by consulting them about their preferred new manager, the club appear to have taken their eye off the ball again.
But world governments have taken their eye off the ball which is why we have to go back 20 years to make the point.
But now, with the economy on the rebound, companies seem to have shifted their focus towards growth, and taken their eye off the ball of improving working capital management," said Ashby.
CELTIC have taken their eye off the ball in recent weeks and certainly look vulnerable as they prepare for the visit of arch-rivals Rangers this afternoon
Schools and authorities have really taken their eye off the ball on this one, and continued to be all moralistic when they need to be practical.
Some teams in the past have gone on great cup runs but maybe taken their eye off the ball in terms of the league campaign.