Action photography allows you to freeze a moment in time, which affords the viewer the chance to see the action in a way that's just not possible with the naked eye. This is probably why action and sports photography is so popular.
Generally action photography is associated with some kind of sport, although that doesn't have to always be the case. This type of photography can be done with any type of moving subject, from a pet running up the beach to a child running around at the playground to a professional basketball player slam-dunking the ball.
Timing is the key to getting a great action shot. You need to capture the peak of the action, and it helps to be familiar with the sport. For example, when photographing a track event such as the 100-yard dash, you know that as the runners come off the starting blocks, there will be strength and energy in their form. Of course, catching the winner crossing the finish line is also a great time for a shot.
The best way to get a feel for the sport you're photographing is quite simply to stand back and watch before you start shooting. Taking a few minutes to be a spectator can allow you to see the rhythm of the action.
Another big part of capturing a great action shot is being in the right place ...