All eyes are locked on the star athletes, and that's where your lens should be pointing -- most of the time. You're there to catch the backboard-rattling slam dunk, the grand slam home run, the longest long jump. But sporting events consist of more than the athletes winning games and medals. Going to a game is an experience: the crowd, the hot dogs, the merchandise, the body painted fans and the JumboTron wedding proposals all factor into it.
Shots of a stadium or its fans can help frame a story, and it's possible that something in the crowd could be more interesting than the game itself. Keeping an eye out for interesting photo opportunities is a basic requirement for all photographers. So is planning your shots. Knowing the sport and predicting what's coming in the next play can give you time to set up a great shot. Maybe it's a fast player stealing second base; maybe it's a running back weaving his way into the end zone. Having an eye for those moments will net the best photographs.
Whether you're planning out shots or firing away on instinct, keep shooting. Digital photography allows us to take hundreds of pictures without fiddling with new rolls of film. Memory cards hold hundreds of images and can be swapped out in seconds. There's no need to take a break from shooting to look at a photograph or delete a bad shot. Just keep firing away. The bad shots can be weeded out later.