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Coaches Corner – thoughts on the season so far!

As the season draws to a close and the Killers, Workers, Queens and Honeys look towards the end of their respective league meets, let’s catch up with our dedicated coaching team on what they think the Bees have bossed this season.

Bru Cousins, Head Coach and Killer Bee

I have been really impressed with the development of all players this year. Most players have shown brilliant commitment and this has meant good numbers at training – which in turn allows for quality sessions that develop specific aspects of people’s games.

The debrief: Another busy training session draws to a close with a hands in for four buzzes and a BEES!
The debrief: Another busy training session draws to a close with a hands in for four buzzes and a BEES!

The Honey Bees are proof of this – smashing teams that have been playing for a similar length of time – well done Alice Heaney and Kate Wood for some great catching improvements this year. The Queen Bees’ power has improved this year, and their attitude has improved – meaning they now want to win without sacrificing fun. Coach Helena Law has been instrumental in this, whilst Lucy Collins and Imy Young have stepped into the centre of the team and played well. The Killer Bees have refined their ability to see matches out and are now much less vulnerable to pre-throws – Rob Kearns has improved this during the latter half of the season. Worker Bees are finally playing at the level we always knew they could do, despite being without some of the players they were expecting to have in the side. They continue to develop their throwing power and timing. Particular shout-outs to Paul Brunger and Kevin Johnson for stepping into that team and getting stuck in.

All teams will be looking forward to more 5 ball training now to ready ourselves for the upcoming Northern Champs.

Aden Woodall – Men’s Coach and Killer Bee

Through consistent play, the Killer Bees are looking likely to finish fourth (barring any disasters which could always happen in such a fast and frantic sport). We haven’t yet beat a top 3 team, but we have drawn with Leicester Minotaurs. The main thing our team has learned is that every match and every point matters – we drew to Leeds in last place due to underestimating them. Technically, our safety play has improved – we are far less vulnerable to pre-throws now and this is allowing us to confidently see out matches rather than letting teams catch and hit their way back into a game. Liam McMahon has showed dedication throughout the season. Bru Cousins and Alex Bembridge have both been making great catches throughout the league season, and Ross McGuigan’s speed has helped the team with ball retention.

Helena Law – Women’s Coach and Queen Bee

At the end of season meeting last year we discussed the possibility of having 2 women’s teams. This season we introduced the Honey Bees and what a first season they have had! The Honey Bees have comfortably competed in tournaments against more experienced teams and have been storming the league. At training the impact has been incredible; the Honeys have built on their own skill set and raised everyone’s level of play! The Queens have definitely felt the benefit of being able to regularly play against such a strong team at sessions and the resulting success of both teams is a massive testament to that.

Manchester Bees Dodgeball Queen Bees Honey Bees Sports Team Plate Winners
The Queens and Honeys celebrate a #Bees1and2 in the Plate at the Leicester Open – with their very own commemorative plates!

The Honey Bees won the Plate at the Leicester Open and currently sit second in the league following several incredible performances; including beating the Queen bees at the last league with a fantastic mixture of catches and counters. The Queen bees have seen their own success this season; winning the West Midland tournament, beating DPL teams and leading the WNL 1 North.

As a coach for the womens teams, I can’t say how excited I am to see both teams continue to develop, improve their skills and compete at a high standard…all while covered in glitter chanting “ALIVE! AWAKE! ALERT! ENTHUSIATIC!”

Alex Bembridge – Women’s Coach and Killer Bee

What Helena said.

The Queen and Honey Bees pose for a picture with player-coach Helena (bottom row, centre) and Alex Bembridge (top right) Honorable mention: Supporter/Cameraman David Streather
Queen/Coach Helena (bottom row, centre) and Killer/Coach Alex Bembridge (top right) pose alongside the Queens and Honeys after another successful league meet!
Honorable mention: Supporter/Cameraman David Streather (top left)

Elliot Barker – Assistant Coach and Worker Bee

Since doing the UKDBA level 2 course last year, I’ve taken our third men’s team, the Soldier Bees to several tournaments and fount it rewarding watching the players develop throughout the season.

Being asked to run our members’ session for the first time was a great experience. As ‘Joint village-idiot” of the Bees (shout out to Huband), I was worried I wouldn’t be taken seriously – and it was the longest two hours of my life, but I enjoyed the challenge! Massive respect to Bru,  Aden and the other coaches who regularly run our all-comers’ and members’ sessions. Fortunately everyone was great, I got good feedback from the coaching team on how to improve my coaching technique too.

The workers have had a tough season with the team ravaged by injury. Despite this, morale remains high in the squad and it’s great to be with a group of lads who genuinely enjoy each others’ company #WeDemBees.

Do you want to give dodgeball a try? Whether it’s for fun, to get fit or make new friends, at the Manchester Bees you can hit all three bees birds with one dodgeball stone! Our all-comers sessions run from 8-9.30 on Tuesdays at Manchester Academy School, M14 4PX. We hope to see you there soon!