4 indicators that a sports parent is a killjoy

By Janis Meredith | Posted 10/5/2016

Youth sports is full of people who suffer from the killjoy syndrome. The people are otherwise known as a spoilsport, wet blanket, party pooper, and prophet of doom.

Killjoys usually don’t recognize their own malady. If you are reading this and saying, “I’m no killjoy,” then see if you recognize any of the symptoms. If you recognize some of these indicators within your behavior, then chances are others may be thinking, “Uh-oh, here comes that killjoy!”

Signs of the Killjoy:

  • You take a seat at a sporting event and notice other parents or spectators wave to say hello, but prefer to sit somewhere else.
  • You begin a conversation by complaining or whining and people just politely nod and smile, although you may believe you are merely expressing your concerns. Often your conversational counterpart will attempt to change the subject or politely excuse themselves.
  • You feel like coaches don’t take you seriously or listen to your suggestions. They probably don’t because your negativity has earned you zero credibility.
  • Your own kids tune you out because they don’t want to hear you whining about the coach, the players, the refs, their own lack of motivation, blah, blah, blah.

You may be thinking. That’s not me!

Okay, then let’s take another test. Listen to yourself speak the next time you talk with your child about youth sports or when you are sitting at a game and chatting with parents. Imagine if you were hearing someone else say the thoughts you are conveying. Would you want to be around you?

If you can trust your spouse or a friend to give you an honest, loving answer, then ask them if you sounded negative or whiny. The first step to correcting a problem is identifying it.

Being a killjoy only makes the whiner feel better. Negative speech never solves a problem, never helps the coach or team and never encourages your child.

Do you really want to be that type of parent?


Janis B. Meredith, sports mom and coach’s wife, writes a sports parenting blog called jbmthinks.com. Her new book 11 Habits for Happy and Positive Sports Parents is on Amazon.