Scientists at UC Berkeley found that friendly touching between NBA teammates led to better individual and group performance. To do this, they recorded every instance of celebratory touch in one game per NBA team, observing 294 players in total. Celebratory touches included: "fist bumps, high fives, chest bumps, leaping shoulder bumps, chest punches, head slaps, head grabs, low fives, high tens, full hugs, half hugs, and team huddles." After the season was over, they found that the amount of intentional touching had a positive correlation with both a team's seasonal performance and the degree of cooperation within a team.
Touching Your Teammates Means More Wins
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Key Facts In This Video
Humans communicate both good will and negative emotions through touch. 00:11
During a 48-minute basketball game, there's about 1.5 minutes of positive touch communication between players on the same team. 00:59
One study found that NBA teams that displayed more instances of positive touch performed better on the court overall. 01:20