Moments right after what you think action over can be the best photos all night. Showing the Ref you caught the ball or just showing off to the crowd , PRICELESS. What I like about this photo goes past the player with the ball. The defensive player was closely watching too as well as all the players on the sideline. When I get around to talking about dept of field and background blur this is a good example of drawing the eye to the main subject but having enough focus to see all the players interest on the sideline.
Same kid before the game coming into the stadium. It was easy picking him out since I know the family. It shows the deep thought before the battle with the focus clearly on him as everything fades out. You won't always get the player holding up the ball at the end of the play but you can get the before shots if you do a little planning to be at the right spot at the right time. There is a lot of emotion going on even if you don't see it and be ready when you do. Below is an in between. The action isn't quite over but the player with his hand up knows the fumble recovery puts the game on ice for his team and starts to celebrate early. Dad wanted the photo for the recovery and the hand sign. So include the before and after images into your portfolio and you might start to see a new path on your road to better photography.