Kiara Bowers isn’t kidding when she says she doesn’t believe in half measures.
The star Fremantle midfielder has proved it again with her relentless approach to her off-season after a stunning AFLW debut season.
“If you want to be a good player then you’re going to have to do the hard work,” Bowers told emageogroup.com.
“That’s the way that I see it. If I’m in the gym or I’m running, I’m not going to half arse it because I may as well just be at home. If I’m going to train, I’m going to train right.”
Bowers is determined to get fitter and stronger ahead of the 2020 season.
That’s a scary proposition for rivals on the back of her remarkable performance this year in which was she was crowned Fremantle’s best and fairest and was runner up in the AFLW MVP after two years on the sidelines following her third knee reconstruction.
Bowers has been completing a rigorous training program after opting to skip the WAFLW season.
“It’s kind of hard to explain but obviously I’d been in rehab for so long, I’d been on a such a strict program for two and a half, three years, I just wanted to get back to almost enjoying my training,” Bowers said.
“I do enjoy running, which is probably a stupid thing. I enjoy going to the gym, so I just wanted to have a little bit more flexibility and not have to worry about loading for weekend games and stuff like that. The off-season has consisted of a lot more running than was probably needed and a lot more lifting than probably needed but it’s something I’ve enjoyed so it was really quite fun.”
Fremantle are not due back officially for pre-season for a couple of weeks but Bowers and many of her teammates can be found at the club most days putting in the work.
A normal day for the apprentice carpenter consists of a full day’s work followed by an intense training session.
“Today I’ve got a run so it’s 6km and I’ll probably add on an extra two or three at the end worth of 500s or 1km just to push up the distance because I want to work on endurance,” Bowers said. “If it’s a weights session then we have our normal program but I always add a bit of cardio in there as well to feel like you’re sweating instead of just lifting.
“It was a lot different last year because I still had a lot of change direction and jumping and hopping last year so it was more roundly focused on the ACL, getting that back, whereas this season that’s nice and strong. It’s more about getting my base fitness really good and probably putting a little bit more weight on just because I’m not the biggest. So it’s all about working on staying fit, as well as putting an extra couple of kilos on that doesn’t affect my running in the game.”
Bowers was a tackling machine in 2019 and those extra kilos could well help her take that to another level next year.
“Hopefully it’s just as many, if not more tackles,” Bowers said. “I will probably get tackled less because I can run away more so that’s hopefully the plan.”
Bowers is excited for Fremantle’s season after many of the players who helped the club into their first finals campaign chose to remain and after meeting the new draftees.
“We kept most of our starting line up from last year,” she said. “We lost a couple of girls and all power to them, they’ll be great in other teams but we’re pretty secure with the girls we’ve got.
“I had a look at it the other day and I’m feeling pretty confident, the girls are really strong and fit and then we’ve got the draftees, who I met.
“They are so eager to go and so talented and look like they’re going to work so hard so I think we’re in good stead for next year.”