One of the best ways to improve is taking time to explore professional photographers’ work. Below is a list of sports photographers I recommend you check out and follow. This is just a small number of the many outstanding sports photographers working today. Take some time to find the photographers’ work that resonates with you and let it inspire your next shoot.
Challenge: Once you have found a photographer whose work you like, pick an image, and attempt to decode how they shot it. What focal length did they use? What aperture? Shutter speed? Where were they in the arena? How did they use available light? After you analyze it to the best of your abilities, attempt to emulate that photo next time you are covering a game. Try the same techniques they did. Obviously, you won't be able to exactly recreate it, but try and get close.