The power of a hype-five

“High fiving” is one of those underrates things in life. The sudden burst of energy. The liberation. The rawness of the feeling. The happiness. The joy. The hype 💥
Table of contents

Today, we feel like giving the spotlight to underrated things in life. A hot shower after skiing. Cold water after a killer workout. The healing and sense of relief after a good sports massage. An empowering look from another runner in the street. A kind gesture from an opponent in a match. Having a laugh with a friend when you just can’t follow a dancing class. ‘hype-fiving’anyone, anytime.
To celebrate a new job. A killer workout. A new family milestone. A new score from your team at the stadium. Cracking an interview. Making a risky decision. Improving your running stats. Getting your first clients. Finishing your first Ironman. Again, anyone, anytime.

So, what’s with the ‘hype-five’?

It’s the simplest and most powerful gesture to instantly connect to others. We believe in ‘hype-fiving’ because it’s the most natural way to recognize someone’s success. To celebrate shared achievements and goals, to empower someone to jump onto something new, to show your support. Nothing says ‘great job buddy’ as a‘hype-five’!

The hype was real

The gesture is as powerful as the moment of its birth. One magical sports moment. October 2nd, 1977, Los Angeles Dodgers Stadium.

Picture it – last game of the regular season, more than 46,000 roaring Dodger’s at the stadium, one home run away from making history. Dusty Baker hits his 30th home run to make the Dodgers the first team in history to have four players with 30+ homers. Glenn Burke, waiting on the deck, enthusiastically thrusts his hand over his head to celebrate his friend.

Los Angeles Dodgers Dusty Baker and Glenn Burke in the first high five.

ESPN, “The High Five”

Here’s where the magical moment comes. Literally in Baker’s words, “His hand was back in the air, and he was arching way back. So, I reached up and hit his hand. It seemed like the right thing to do” (Dusty Baker, ESPN documentary, ‘The High Five’)

“I know I wrote about it that day, it’s just that, it was such a moment. It was the energy of it. It was just this explosion of emotion. It was something just unique” – Lyle Spencer, Dodgers Beat Writer, ’77-‘81.

Although Dusty and Glenn are the people most credited with its creation, it is believed that its roots go back to the low five (also known as slapping skin), a fixture of the African-American jazz culture since 1920’s.

The power resides in the touch

Although it is widely used as a sign of celebration or congratulation, its real power is usually unknown and frequently disregarded.

The secret to the ‘hype-five’ is in the touch. It’s the physical connection that occurs during the gesture that allows for an immediate connection with another person. That signals support, trust, and cooperation. That conveys positive reinforcement. A cocktail of instant positive emotions that creates a direct impact on athletic performance. In fact, a UC Berkeley study on NBA teams proved a positive direct correlation between touches (high-fives, fist bumps, hugs, low fives, …) and team’s performance.

It makes total sense to us! We are physiologically designed to react to touch – like a baby that is calmed by his parents’ touch. The ‘hype-five’ touch could be no different! Our brains are just designed to process it as an empowering sign.

We like to speak about ‘hype’ fives because we feel that it better reflects the ‘hype’ of the moment. The sudden burst of energy. The liberation. The rawness of the feeling. The joy. The happiness. Join us in ‘hype-fiving’ your way through life. And remember, anyone, anytime.

1. Julie Fournier, 2019, "High Five: Am MVP Move", Basketball Psychology, viewed November 15th 2021, <High Five: An MVP Move>

2. Jon Mooallem, 2020, “The wild, mysterious history of sports' most enduring gesture: the high five”, ESPN, viewed November 15th 2021, <History of the hype-five>

3. Mark Abadi, 2019, “Today is National High Five Day — this photo from 1977 shows the first ever high five, Business Insider, viewed November 15th 2021, <Where does the high-five come from origin>

4. Makki Riddington, “The Power of The High Five”, Maki Performance Training, viewed November 15th 2021, <Power high-five>

5.“The High Five”, ESPN, viewed November 15th 2021, <The High Five>