Outdoor action photography requires two elements -- optical magnification and fast shutter speed. This shot was captured with a 300mm telephoto lens on a Canon 5D at 1/500th of a second. In order to get the shutter speed I needed to freeze the action, I increased the ISO setting to 800. As extra insurance, I shot in Raw mode so I would have more options in post production.
If you like action photography, look for a camera/lens combination that provides lots of optical reach and can provide good image results at ISO 400 or higher.