It’s often hard enough taking sports photos, but when the subjects keep moving around, it makes it even more difficult. Focusing on a baseball player at bat isn’t too bad, but once he starts running you may have problems. The focusing distance in sports usually changes all the time because players are constantly in action and moving.
There are a few ways you can keep them in focus though. One of them is to manually focus on the person by tracking their movement.
This means concentrating on one player and focusing at the same time as they move around. This might take a bit of getting used to and it can be a bit difficult depending on the sport and how often, fast, and far the person moves.
You can try the automatic tracking option if your camera has one. In this mode, the camera will focus on a moving subject when you hold the shutter release halfway down. This may work well for you, depending on the sport and the camera.
Another option is pre-focusing on a specific area. This is useful in some sports, such as a race where the participants pass by every lap, and the goalmouth in sports like soccer and hockey.
With this method you just have to focus in on one area of the playing field or track, etc. Every time there’s action in this pre-focused area your camera will already be in focus and ready to shoot.
Like everything else, it’ll still take a bit of practice to get the hang of it. You also need to make sure the shutter speed is fast enough and it’s a good idea to take the shots in the continuous shooting mode. A good way to practice this method is to find a busy street and focus on a certain spot in the road. When a vehicle hits that spot you can then start taking photos.