The most practical way is to use a digital camera. All small-format devices are also suitable for such shoots. Normal lens limits the photographer’s possibilities, as you have to come close to the athlete that is not always possible. You need a long-focal-length lens for shooting at distance. Wide angle lens is convenient for shooting indoor competitions. Background plays a significant role in the sport shooting. You should strive to make everything in such a way that it will not disturb the visual impression, will not be monotonous, and also will not compete with the main subject. Background should contrast with the object. If the object is transparent, then it is better to choose a dark background.
You can use the technique of blurring the background by movement of the camera parallel to the movement of athletes while shooting of joggers and skaters. In this case, the athlete is sharp, and the background is blurred. Such images reinforce the impression of movement.
Blur of the background is a valid technique too, because it allows you to highlight the main subject-topic center of the image - the athlete. It is easier to receive blurred the second and third plans, while photographing with long lens.