Ashley Kettmann is a former Foothill High School in Pleasanton and San Jose State golfer. After college she competed professionally, including competing in two seasons of the Big Break on the Golf Channel, finishing runner-up in Big Break VII: Reunion at Reunion. She currently lives in Livermore with her husband Jeff and their four children. She teaches lessons at the Pleasanton Golf Center as well as privately and counts Golden State Warrior Andre Iguodala as a client. Kettmann is the founder of Queen of the Green and can followed on Instagram under that title. Kettmann is writing a blog for ACES about golf and life. This blog will be published in two parts as she confronts her competitiveness a professional athlete as it relates to her children playing sports!

 Last week in Part I, Ashley adjusted to her daughter initially maybe not wanting to play sports, then how she began to adjust when her daughter embraced swimming!  Following is Part II.

Slowly, I noticed Hadley gaining confidence. She met some really sweet friends on her team, was improving in all aspects of the sport, and she started looking forward to her practices and swim meets. And then, one day at swim practice, she just took off. I mean it was like she was floating on the water!

She made it look so easy, effortless, and beautiful and she was swimming the butterfly!  From across the pool, the head coach yelled to me “She’s a beast!”

Music to any athlete’s ears!

Her coaches separately came up to me asking where she had taken swim lessons before joining the team. My response – “She’s never had a swim lesson in her life. My husband taught her how to swim in the gym pool.”

This whole time, I was thinking that Hadley would become a golfer like me, but as an almost 6-year-old, she seemed to be a natural in the pool and I was totally ok with that!

As soon as I saw Hadley swimming so well, something inside me changed and I became a full on tiger mom!  And I’m not ashamed to admit it. I researched what she should be eating, how much sleep she needs each night, and how to keep her in swimming year-round!

Did you know that carb loading for swimming is completely different than carb loading for a marathon?

Thankfully, I surround myself with other athletes who explained to me that pushing her at one sport at such a young age isn’t good for her body. And Jeff finally reminded me that she was only 5, and I needed to chill a bit. I did, but I do have her signed up for fall swimming, and she is also taking golf lessons from me. (I’m not quite ready to give the golf dream up just yet).

If she wants to try other sports, then I’m ok with that too.  I don’t expect her to be the best at everything, but I do expect her to try her hardest, show up with a positive attitude, and show respect to everyone and to her surroundings.

If people were to watch me during a swim meet, they would probably hear me first. I scream crazy loud the entire time she swims.  My competitive and athletic side will always be in my blood and it’s something I can’t hide.

What people don’t see, is that under my sunglasses I have tears in my eyes. As a mom, the pride I have for her is bigger than any race she could win, or low round of golf that I could shoot.  I’m obviously proud of her because of the way she swims, but I’m prouder of the positive ways she has changed.

This summer, Hadley has transformed into a big girl with a competitive and fiery spirit, who is full of confidence! Swimming has given her something I could never give her as a mom or a former athlete. It has taught her all the tools that I have been trying to teach her – Self pride, self-respect, and self-appreciation.

It not only has helped give her more pep in her step, it has shown her that success doesn’t happen over night, that being athletic and sporty is cool, and that she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to.

When the summer season ended, she was sad and told me that she wants to keep swimming.  The girl who cried during her first meet didn’t want her season to end!  I’m excited to be on this journey with her and looking forward to long days with her at swim practice and meets.

A smart woman recently told me that, “competitive swimming is public speaking without the words.”

Hadley learned how to “publicly speak” this summer during swim meets and I’m so excited to continue watching her shine. Being able to watch her learn, grow, swim, and win has been the greatest gift that any sport could have ever given me!

By Ashley Kettmann (AKA as Swim Mom)

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