Sports photography is not for everyone.
It's a genre of photography that covers all types of sports and is a branch of photojournalism for the professional. Sports photography is not restricted to all others and many of us enjoy photographing our children and friends on the pitches at weekends and to some degree at the sports events we go to. I did too. I guess, when it comes to my photography it is the fact that I was bitten by the bug many years ago and have not managed to shake it off ! Todays technology with the ability to send images from the event itself to picture desks , whether from an iPhone or a professional camera is amazing. The image is uploaded and out there within seconds. Photographers at these big sporting events need accreditation from a publication to shoot at the match well prior to the event. A press card just won't cut it... Arriving early is always an advantage and so obtaining a good spot to work - ( at limited positions around the ground ) is all important.
There is a great, well equipped press/media office at Croke Park for photographers to file their images and many do use this facility. Others- choose to do it live partially from the side of the pitch with a laptop in all weathers with a big brolly to keep dry, (and I take my hat off to them). Press agencies like Press 22, Sportsfile and others have an urgency to file images during the game for their publications.. I choose the comfort of the warm and dry press office , should I be required to send them in for a deadline in rare cases. But holding a large monopod with a large lens and Camera(s), and umbrella whilst trying not to miss the action and uploading images to a Laptop, and sending them in same time, is, and art and skill.. ! A laptop with a good connection is essential and I use this method from various locations ie, GAA sport, soccer and rugby from various locations....
For the budding photographer, who wants to be a sports photographer, a route I would recommend is via their local newspaper. Initially they should send in their best work from attending local games, Sunday leagues and the like. Having a reasonable camera and lens is of course important especially when you reach a professional level, but again a consumer camera is where most people start, with the kit lens although again for shooting in low light and all weathers for publications a professional body' a fast lens is essential.