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BGU Researchers Discover the Impact of Teammates on Performance

BGU Researchers Discover the Impact of Teammates on Performance

August 30, 2023

Medical Research, Research News

The Toto Cup match between Beitar Jerusalem and Hapoel Jerusalem at the Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem on August 19, 2023.

Israel21c — Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researchers recently discovered that teammates’ efforts in sports correlate with each other and have a direct impact on individual performances.

The research team analyzed professional soccer leagues across Israel in 2017 and 2018 to measure how teammates’ efforts affect each other during the initial introduction on the field.

The researchers found that elevated peer effort positively affects individual effort, whereas a fatigued player on the team can potentially lower the energy of his colleagues.

Among the aspects that were analyzed were players’ running distance, number of sprints and player substitutions throughout every game. The researchers were able to prove that each player’s running distance in a specific section of the game changes when he plays with teammates who typically exert more effort.

“Our findings suggest that social connections and obligations may contribute to positive peer effects in effort, and indicate why it can be beneficial for organizations to encourage social interaction among coworkers and to invest in activities that help forge team spirit” – Dr. Naomi Gershoni and Prof. Danny Cohen-Zada, Department of Economics at BGU.

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