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I'd like to know what the following means

"Try to be on the ball to have a ball"

I know "Have a ball" means is "Enjoy oneself enormously" and "on the ball" means is "to be quick to understand and to react to things", but I can't understand what is the meaning of the two phrases combined.

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    Hello, Mohammed. Try looking up '[be] on the ball' and 'have a ball' separately. Nov 13 '15 at 13:55
  • Hello,Thanks dear. I know "Have a ball" means is "Enjoy oneself enormously." and "on the ball" means is "to be quick to understand and to react to things", but i can't understand what does mean combination of two phrases. Nov 13 '15 at 14:11
  • It's combining two idioms. Look up "on the ball" and "have a ball".
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 13 '15 at 14:11
  • @MohammadMehrabi, can you provide more context? Where does the sentence come from?
    – A.P.
    Nov 13 '15 at 14:14
  • Yeah i know, so what is the meaning of combination of two idioms? @HotLicks Nov 13 '15 at 14:15
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As others have noted, it's a play on words using two idioms:

on the ball: knowledgeable and competent : purposively active : alert

(Webster's Unabridged)

have a ball: to ​enjoy yourself very much

(http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/have-a-ball)

The author of the sentence is telling someone they need to be active, alert, or knowledgeable to enjoy themselves. It's difficult to be more specific without further context.

Here's a made-up example: A father is teaching his son to play soccer. The son is a goalie. He can't catch the ball because he's not paying attention. He's not enjoying the game very much, so he starts complaining to his dad, at which point the father says: Try to be on the ball to have a ball, son. (Meaning: be alert, and you'll have a lot of fun.)

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