I took this shot during a rugby match, with I think it was my 400 mm. Pretty OK if you ask me.
But let's see what happens if you crop it a little closer.
Now we are there where the action is! It gives the picture a totally other look and feel. I even cropped it a little closer.
Let's take for example cycling. I took this shot sometime last year during the Dutch championships cycling (time trial).
And now come in a little closer on the action...
The impact of the picture changes dramatically. It gives you more detail of the cyclist. It's best in sports like cycling and running to vary in how far you zoom or crop your picture.
The wider shots gives the viewer an indication of the enviroment. Especially when you shoot in a beautiful surrounding this can give beautiful pictures. But what happens when we go closer.
One more example with a picture I took of Marianne Vos during the Dutch championships cyclocross.
And again you get another look and feel. Each time the picture tells a different story.Take a look on the website Tim de Waele for more great cycling pictures.
There are a lot of opinions on how to crop. I usually take the easy way to crop in Lightroom and Photoshop. I just follow my instinct and crop what I like instead of following the official rules/rations. Ofcourse it's different when your client wants to have it in a specific ratio.
Just remember: have fun with shooting sports and get in on the action!