What do Muttiah Muralitharan and Lasith Malinga have in common? Neither of them would have come to anything in a country like New Zealand as coaches would have furiously tried to ‘fix their technique’ to be more like the textbook.
Murali and Malinga have two of the most unorthodox techniques ever in the history of cricket. But for some reason they were both afforded the opportunity to play with a technique that fitted their body. And the result? Two of the all-time greats, with Murali holding the world record with 800 test wickets.
As coaches we have a strong urge to fix problems, which keeps us motivated week after week. We can see problems with how our players are performing skills and with a tweak here and a tweak here they will be SO much better. But changing techniques can be detrimental as we all have ingrained movement patterns that suit our own individual body. That is why we all have unique running techniques and handwriting styles, for example.
So rather than looking at the technique, consider what the outcome is. Are they having success and performing the skill safely (e.g. they aren’t going to do any long-term physical damage)? And if they are having success, leave them alone as the last thing we want are players thinking about their technique, as this will slow them down.
So, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.