Capturing subjects in motion.
Ten random tips for getting better results with 'action' photography.
1. If your subject is moving and your intention is that the subject is sharp in your picture, putting the camera on a tripod is a bad idea.
2. There are only two ways to capture a moving target; panning/following the subject, and maximising shutter speed. (Using flash is essentially the same as raising the shutter speed.)
3. If you use flash to arrest movement, make sure that the contribution from the flash is significantly greater than ambient light, and don't try to use shutter speed AND flash at the same time or you'll run into synchronisation problems.
4. Blurry can be beautiful, so don't delete 'failures' in camera. They may be buried treasure when you see them full size.
5. When you are panning to freeze a subject, make sure you 'follow through' like a golf stroke, and make sure your stance is comfortable.
6. Panning/tracking at low shutter speeds will give you pictures that have a greater sense of movement, but don't be dismayed if you only end up with a small percentage of usable images. Even professionals don't have a 100% hit rate.
7. Remember that studio strobes can have quite long 'on time' compared with on-camera flash, so you can't always count on them to give you a crisp result with a fast moving subject unless you back them off a bit to maybe as little as 25% of maximum.
8. In addition to (7), studio strobes also recycle more quickly and overheat less often when running at lower power. If you have a model jumping around in a floaty dress you may need to take a LOT of pictures to be sure of a winner.
9. At sports events, always get a few shots at a reasonably fast shutter speed 'in the bank' before you start getting creative with 1/60 and below. You don't want to risk going away completely empty-handed.
10. Shooting movement means that you will almost certainly be shooting either full manual exposure or shutter priority auto.
Finally... A bonus tip: Sports photographers use monopods because 'pro' 500 and 600mm lenses are big and heavy. If you can comfortably hand-hold your lens, then do it. You will have more freedom of movement and will be able to pan/follow much better. Putting a monopod on something like a 200mm f/4 is worse than pointless for sports photography. All it does is restrict movement and get in the way. I hand-hold my 500mm quite often for difficult shots, but it is too heavy to hold for long periods.