Also be at the right place at the right time. Never take your eye off the game. Use multi shot settings that take 3 to 10 pictures with each click of the camera, this catches the fumble, the fall and other after it happened shots.
Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.
Sports photography is where equipment plays a big role as well. P&S cameras are pretty much out of question. Even with the fastest DSLR, I found it challenging to pick the right focus spot. What happened to Canon's eye control focus?