Fine. It's a lie. I got you to read this post by promising general tips on sports photography in general, but these tips are only about team sports. But give me a break. Would you really have read this article if I named it “Five tips to improve your photography of team sports”? Didn't think so. Now on to the show…
Sports Photography Tip #1: The worst place to stand on the field or court is the fifty-yard line or the half-court line. Every time I see new sports photographers go out for their first event, they plant themselves on the fifty, thinking that they will be able to see both sides of the field from that viewpoint.
Sports Photography Tip #2: Don't just focus on the winning team. Sometimes the most impactful sports photos are of the facial expressions of the athletes on the losing team.
Sports Photography Tip #3: Consider shooting in JPEG. Generally, you'll be able to capture 2 more frames per second, and the buffer on your camera won't fill as quickly. This can really help you to capture the perfect moment.
Sports Photography Tip #4: Learn to shoot with both eyes open. In fast-moving games like soccer where the ball can suddenly be kicked 100 feet or more, you can look with one eye open and see the ball more clearly and the other eye open in your optical viewfinder to place that ball within the frame. It's tricky at first, but can really help capture many more shots of the action. The camera won't block your view of the left eye because usually you'll be shooting in portrait mode when shooting sports.
Sports Photography Tip #5: Kneel down on the ground and use a monopod. Shooting up at people makes them seem powerful. This will add a lot of drama to your sports shots. The monopod will help you to keep the camera steady in this less-than-stable shooting position.