Top doubles teams at every level actually look like a team. How do they do it? Well, recent research shows us that “reaching out and touching someone” goes a long way in creating great team chemistry.
The fist bump, the high five, a quick hug or even the Bryan Brothers famous chest bump – are all powerful forms of non-verbal communication used by high performing teams.
Scientist at UC Berkeley recently analyzed physical interactions among every team in the NBA. Michael Kraus led a research team that observed and coded every high five, hug and bump in a single game played by each NBA team early last season. Basically, they found:
“With few exceptions, good teams tended to be touchier than bad ones. The most ‘touch bonded’ teams were the Boston Celtics and the LA Lakers … and at the bottom were the mediocre Sacramento Kings and the Charlotte Bobcats. The same was true, more or less, for players. The touchiest player was Kevin Garnett, followed by Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer.”
The study corrected for the possibility that the better teams touch more simply because they were winning. They found “Players who made contact with teammates most consistently and longest tended to rate highest on measures of performance, and the teams with those players seemed to get the most out of their talent”.
How can you apply these findings on the league doubles court? Make sure you connect with your partner after every point. Ideally, you want to follow the formula outlined in our special report, The X Factor. Physically connecting after every point may seem arduous at first, so at the very least, make supportive eye contact with your doubles partner after every point!
Make “reaching out and touching someone” a part of your on-court doubles strategy. With commitment to practice, you’ll begin to feel the difference.