In sports, such as football, a player will throw the ball to a spot early, so the ball arrives as the receiver arrives.

This concept is relevant outside of sports. For example, I could send a letter to one city while you're still in another city, but you'll receive it just as you arrive. I can add more technical examples if necessary.

Is there a term for this action? I've used "quarter-backing" in the past, but I've found myself in a situation where I need to describe this concept in a professional environment.

Example Sentence

I don't know if this is a single-word-request or phrase-request, but here's an example sentence:

I sent the email on Friday, so I could ____ it as you arrived on Monday.

It may or may not fit with this sentence syntax.

I quarter-backed the email on Friday, so you would receive it as you arrived on Monday.

Obviously this term sounds silly.

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    Deflection, or "leading a target" works perfectly in your first (football) example, but I do not see how it would work with the sample (email) sentence. – Cascabel Dec 29 '17 at 1:12
  • "Catch up with you"? I can't think of a single word expression... – Rob_Ster Dec 29 '17 at 1:56
  • BTW, to "quarter-back" something has an entirely different and more common usage, meaning to "call the play" or control the action. – Cascabel Dec 29 '17 at 2:12
  • So it would coincide with your arrival. – Lambie Dec 31 '17 at 20:00

The concept is anticipation, in your context you'd either say anticipating or possibly to anticipate their arrival.

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Proactively might be the word you are looking for. It means

serving to prepare for, intervene in, or control an expected occurrence or situation

Example: I proactively sent the email on Friday, so you would receive it as you arrived on Monday.

Anticipatory can also be used.

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  • 1
    Proactively fits well. I also like anticipatory. I'm going to select the other answer, since it was posted first, but I upvoted your response. – Matt Goodrich Dec 30 '17 at 2:21
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    I'm also going to upvote it - both proactively and (maybe) pre-emptively would also be useful in OP's situation of grammatical need :o) – Will Crawford Dec 30 '17 at 15:41

Leading a target is the term used in shooting or sports, but would not apply to your mail example.

"Sending a message beforehand to your anticipated destination" seems to work.

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  • Hi @MattGoodrich, I didn't read that comment. I googled "leading with a firearm" since that definition of lead wasn't in the dictionary I was using. The wiki page is what came up. Beforehand isn't adding value? – Fuhrmanator Dec 30 '17 at 5:16
  • I didn't notice "beforehand" as your term and thought you were using the existing "leading a target" and "anticipated" responses. I apologize for my confusion. – Matt Goodrich Dec 30 '17 at 6:24

Consider expedite.

I sent the email on Friday, so I could expedite it's arrival to match your arrival on Monday.



To quicken the process; make faster. "He asked the mail service for an expedited delivery service, as the package needed to arrive tomorrow."

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A verb which works well for both the sports and messaging examples is time.

I sent the email on Friday, so I could time it for your arrival on Monday.


time VERB

1 [with object and adverbial or infinitive] Plan, schedule, or arrange when (something) should happen or be done.

‘It's just a matter of timing your visit to coincide with when the lily is in flower.’

1.1 Perform (an action) at a particular moment.

‘Russell's perfectly timed lob into the path of John Joe Maguire saw the Town striker break the offside trap and pull clear of the defence.’

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