The University of California at Berkley recently released a report that asked: “How much does a fist bump, high five or chest bump really affect a team’s performance?” The answer is worth a pat on the back.
The study, which covered the entire ’08-’09 NBA basketball season, discovered that the more physical touches players received during a game, the more successful their team’s results. Simply stated, when teammates celebrate each other’s accomplishments with some sort of physical contact during play, it actually helps the team win.
Michael Kraus, a co-author of the study, says, “For us, it seems really evident that if talent is equal on the court, the team that is really together is going to be the team that ends up winning. These guys play harder when they feel like they are part of a team. [And] one of the ways guys show they are for you and with you is by touch. It’s how you show ‘teamness.'”
Some may think that successful teams encourage each other with more contact because they are already winning. But after accounting for player status and preseason expectations, the study showed that touch still improved performance.
“The amount teams are touching in a preseason game predicts performance over the course of the season,” Kraus says. “It’s not just that you’re performing better, because it didn’t matter if you won or lost that game or how efficiently you played in that game. Because after accounting for that, we still see the effect.”
Make the “teamness” effect work on your court. Start supporting your crew with physical contact and see if your team racks up more W’s.
Which NBA players give the most on-court love to their teammates? And which teams are the most physically encouraging? Check out CNN’s video on the study.
Sources: cnn.com, kansascity.com