Practice, Practice, Practice
Like any sport, practice is necessary to know the event, the plays and how the game operates. Shooting sports is the same. Here’s some advice.
Go to your child’s sporting practices and shoot. It doesn’t have to be anything good necessarily, just shoot. Learn their tells, how fast they run, getting them accustomed to the camera being around will improve your photography. They will be more relaxed and forget you even have it around. If your sport has defined plays, then you should learn how they run and how to tell they are going to run them. In an individual sport, learn the “tells” that each individual has that shows when they are performing at their peak. What makes them good; their techniques, learned over a long period of time.
This is something that only watching and practice will give you. A small amount of knowledge is dangerous, and if you can read the plays and know where the action is headed, you can be there to shoot it. Knowing how your child reacts will allow you to shoot it, or avoid it, for great shots. This is a two edged sword though. If you only know your child, you will find it very hard to shoot somebody else’s kid with the same degree of accuracy and skill because they react and move differently than your child. So don’t get too confident in your skills too quickly.
Practice, practice, practice on EVERYBODY! As much as you can, as often as you can. The wider your skill set, the better you become. At the practices, use different lenses to see what the difference are. The photos are not critical in that they will be hanging on a famous art museum in Paris, so make mistakes! With the knowledge that you are gaining, mistakes will start to become few and far between.
If you have questions, stop in and ask, or schedule a private instruction with one of our photographers! We’d love to help you round out your skills and hone that blade.