By Rod Ross on Apr 10, 2019 10:44:57 AM
This week, we're going to look at Solomon Salama, who recently led all qualifiers at the USBC Masters.
Before that, he performed well at the World Bowling Junior Championships in Europe representing Junior Team USA.
Solomon is only 16 years old, but we can already see some significant differences in his game when we compare his approach from 2017 to his approach in 2018. One thing that hasn't changed is how evident his talent is. Solomon is going to be a good player for a long time, especially as he continues to refine his game and work to improve.
The biggest change we can see right away is in the pushaway. In 2017, as he began his pushaway, he moved the ball to the right of his chin. A year later, he keeps the ball placed closer between his chin and shoulder.
Because his pushaway went to the right in 2017, and he also made a large crossover step, his body started to twist to the right. This forced him to twist back the other way in order to get the ball to his target, which is a fair amount of unnecessary movement. When we look at his approach from 2018, we see he's eliminated just about all of that twisting and is able to make a cleaner approach.
With the cleaner approach, he has a better elbow position, which is now slightly inside the ball, whereas before it was slightly outside the ball.
As he delivers the ball in 2018, his slide foot is turned a little to the left, which is normal for a two-handed lefty, and he maintains great balance at the line. Compare that to 2017, when he tried to "correct" the slight movement to the left, which actually forced his body to move back and forth while trying to release the ball. Just one year later, his entire approach is quite a bit cleaner, which helps him stay more consistent and keep the ball on line.
Looking at him from the side, the first thing we see is how much farther back he stood on the approach just one year prior. A lot of young players use as much of the approach as they can to generate momentum, but as we'll see, that can create other inconsistencies.
Comparing 2017 to 2018 simultaneously, it's clear how much bigger his first step is a year ago when he started farther back, which forced him to almost keep up with himself. When we get to the pivot step, he's a lot more stable in 2018 because he doesn't have to lurch so far to the foul line, allowing him to drive through the shot much better.
Because of his undeniable talent and his desire to keep improving, I'm confident we'll be seeing and hearing a lot more about Solomon in the years to come.