When it comes to sports photography, the importance of timing cannot be overstated. The right-click of a camera at the right time can capture everything from complete and utter athletic perfection to disaster. With a snapshot of the most epic millisecond, the painstaking hard work these athletes put in and the crazy risks they take are revealed. Take a look at this collection of incredible action shots of sports. The photographer managed to capture these athletes in some of their most unusual and impressive poses.
Is This Even Humanly Possible?
That sounds like the perfect dosage of danger—sliding around on an ice rink with a pair of spiked shoes. Although professional ice skaters push the limits, professional figure skaters don’t choose to walk the line. We had no idea that a human could be so flexible until we saw this picture.
With such effortless grace, this girl bends and twirls. Even when they’re spinning on one leg, the photographer captured the perfect shot of how insanely talented and elegant ice skaters are.
That’s It; I Give Up!
This person is an excellent reflection of every one of us. When you look at his face, you can tell that he’s ready to call it a day. What made him upset?
The chances are this was simply a case of the Yankee player not being in the right mindset for the game. So he’s dropping the bat and is getting out of there as quickly as possible.
When Two Worlds Collide
Sports have the unique ability to bring people from all over the world together. The players are from diverse countries, religions, and cultures that would never otherwise interact. That is perfectly captured in this picture.
Team One likes to show skin while competing on the beach volleyball court, while Team Two chooses a more conservative outfit. But, regardless of what clothes they decide to wear, they all share the love of sport and the freedom to play!
Well, This Is Bittersweet
Even if he had an impressive dunk, this NBA player had forgotten that what goes up must eventually come down. The unfortunate moment of the ball falling back down and straight on his face was captured by the photographer.
We hope that he deserved every single point he got and that he overcame getting smacked in the face and getting back into the game. Good luck next time!
Gymnastics Just Got Creepy
We clearly weren’t the only ones who noticed that this woman appears to be missing her head. Gymnastics is a sport that requires flexibility, but we had no idea ahead could bend that far backward.
There is a head-on the apparently floating body. Her backbend abilities are far above and beyond any ordinary skill level, and the photographer was certainly positioned at the perfect time to catch it.
It Hurts to Look at This
When the reruns are on, you don’t get to see these people’s faces. So you have no idea how much pain this player is in unless you’ve ever been hit in the face with a soccer ball.
Even though this hit came as a complete surprise, the photographer could capture the aftermath in all of its glory. But, unfortunately, he seemed to need some time to get over that one.
Pellegrini Has a Cathartic Moment
A photographer captured gold medalist swimmer Federica Pellegrini’s moment of recognition when she won her fourth 200-meter world title in the summer of 2019. The Italian swimming legend’s expression says it all: she’s just realized that all of her hard work has paid off, and now is her time.
Her expression would not be out of place in a biblical oil painting, and with good reason: not many people in the world have the opportunity to experience what she has. As we explain more about Pellegrini’s complicated relationship with sports, scroll through the article to see more of her.
Moments Before the Worst Headache of Her Life
This is by far the best photobomb we’ve ever seen. The woman had only intended to take a harmless selfie at the baseball game, but she would soon discover that selfies can be far more dangerous than they appear.
This woman realized how painful a baseball to the head could be just moments after this photo was taken. We’re not sure if she remembers everything, but at the very least, she has this photo to prove it.
How Are These Positions Even Possible
Kick volleyball, known as sepak takraw in some places, is shown in the image below. This Southeast Asian sport restricts competitors to just using their feet, knee, chest, and head.
Due to this restriction, players are forced to take some unusual positions to get the ball over the net. They appear to be breakdancers in the middle of an epic dance battle in this photo.
The Helicopter Arm
Regarding his external rotation, this baseball pitcher has already figured out how to do it, and we can only assume the follow-up pitch was probably impressive. It looks like he’s making a full turn with his arms swinging in a full 360 motion!
It’s difficult to determine if it’s his arm that’s turned the wrong way or if it’s his head. However, if his opponents want to avoid trouble, they should look out because that ball clearly has some momentum behind it.
“Oh Shoot, I’m Not Going to Land This!”
This gymnast’s terrified expression says it all. Her expression indicates that she is concerned that she will not complete the routine without injury, but we believe she landed safely.
We don’t get to see the gymnasts’ faces as they flip and split across the floor or beam very often. This one-of-a-kind picture perfectly captures the level of focus required. She resembles a ferocious wild cat stalking its prey.
The Ripple Effect On a Whole New Level
It may have occurred to you to wonder what happens to your face when a professional boxer punches you in the face, didn’t it? The slow-motion video will provide a clear visual representation of what happens.
The intensity you see in his entire face is due to the force. With a ton of momentum behind it, that punch certainly didn’t disappoint, and the results of the aftermath can only be speculated upon.
Right in the Face!
When the unexpected happened in the fourth inning of this game, Rickie Weeks of the Milwaukee Brewers was caught off guard. Week’s jaw was hit by the baseball, which didn’t even come close to hitting the bat.
Based on our assumption, we believe he was prepared to disregard his usual home base and run straight to his real home after this unfortunate event. Find him an ice pack and give him a well-deserved vacation.
Skidding Into the End Of Their Careers Like
The grace and agility of figure skaters are well-known. Their performances are meant to take the audience’s breath away with their impressive jumps and effortless spins. But, unfortunately, things don’t always go according to plan.
Due to this restriction, players must take some unusual positions to get the ball over the net. They appear to be breakdancers in the middle of an epic dance battle in this photo.
Former First Lady Needs to Watch Out!
Of all the classy, put-together women we have seen in the media, Michelle Obama is by far the most outstanding. However, not even the most elegant of ladies are always in control of their emotions. When a tennis ball is speeding towards them, this becomes even more critical.
This photograph of her dodging a tennis ball may be the only shot in which she appears to be in a panic. But, knowing that she was a former first lady, we can be certain that she filled that moment with killer serves.
Parallel to the Water!
A wakeboarder must look himself directly in the eye! This picture perfectly captured a moment of absolute perfection. It’s difficult to tell whether he’s on the verge of annihilation or is truly that skilled.
In either case, the athlete maintains his composure as he balances parallel to the water. We are fortunate that a photographer was nearby to capture this picture. His reflection is even visible in the water!
Puffer Fish Vibes
Although the shot appears to be a simple event, it is far more difficult than it appears. It takes a lot of strength to throw a metal ball as far as possible. Still not convinced? Take a look at the expression on this guy’s face!
To achieve this expression, he must be using every muscle in his body. On the defensive, he resembles a pufferfish. Fortunately for us, someone was present to record his efforts. We don’t think he’ll put this one up on the wall, though.
Super Mom Takes the Prize!
At a baseball game, everyone wants to catch a ball and take it home as a prize. But, unfortunately, Supermom got in the way of the guy on the right, reaching for his hopes and dreams.
Even if you are holding a baby in one hand, doing cartwheels with the other, it does not necessarily follow that you will not be able to make an amazing catch.
Pre Body Slam!
In basketball, you sometimes have to take a risk and go for the shot regardless of the consequences. That is unmistakably true in this perfectly timed picture. One of the players decided to go for it for the team and dove for it.
He wasn’t the only one who suffered as a result of his bravery. The man in white understands that he can’t get away from his faith. But, he appears to be getting a little too close for comfort with his opponent in just a few seconds.
Well, That Backfired!
Have you ever heard the phrase “crack of the bat”? It refers to the sound made by the bat when it collides with an approaching baseball. This player, however, appears to have taken it a little too literally, as his bat has cracked in half.
Let’s hope that this epic swing yielded a good play. If not, we’ve got this fantastic picture to look at. He has to be proud of how much strength it took to pull this off. Hopefully, he wasn’t too fond of this bat.
When Two Become One
In the game, two players sought to obtain the ball and use it to control the match, but what is most likely occurring is that they have melded together into one creature.
Though it is gratifying to see that they appear to be radioactive humans, it is also unfortunate to know that there had to be an unavoidable headbutt just a moment later.
Toes to Head!
This is quite a show of skill. This picture shows exactly that. This high jumper is putting tremendous effort into making sure the back does not come into contact with the bar.
Her toes are only about an inch away from touching the top of her head. If we were here, we would have this photo hung on the wall. But, instead, it looks like the many hours of training and effort have finally borne fruit.
Is This the Matrix or a Swimming Meet?
As the swimmer was about to come out of the water, the photographer managed to capture him. Although, to be honest, he did look rather like he was resurrected in the Keanu Reeves film, “The Matrix.”
Apart from being nerdy, this is a wonderful example of a photo that was just taken at the perfect moment. The swimmer looks like he was born to be in the water, as he fights to win the meet.
The Most Emotionally Loaded Picture Ever
This photo is brimming with emotions. There are many different people and emotions here. Some people are ecstatic to catch the ball, while others are terrified and run for cover. Then some are completely unconcerned about the situation and are simply watching it unfold.
Seeing all of these different reactions occur at the same time is pretty hilarious. Of course, we don’t know what happened in the end, but we’re hoping the ball was caught and no one was hurt.
This Is the Face of Desperation
Things don’t appear to be going well for this distressed wrestler. He catches a desperate glimpse of the photographer as he pops his head up for air in the middle of the match.
The man shows only an open-mouthed stare with the words “help me” written across his face. We can’t fathom how he stayed in the fight even after this.
This Is The Last Place He Wanted to End Up
All the cricket players give it their all, and they really give the game everything they’ve got. But, unfortunately, this player took a large step and then fell over, losing his balance along the way.
His face wound up being caught on camera in a very embarrassing position, and as if that wasn’t bad enough, he discovered that the photographer was taking pictures of him.
Is This One Woman?
Those legs appear to be unusually long, leading me to believe that this woman is quite tall. Additionally, the photographer captured a moment that makes it appear as if these two women are literally joined at the hip.
Even when the choreography is perfectly planned, there is always the possibility that synchronized swimming will devolve into a scene of chaos from time to time.
The swimmer, in fact, is not cannonballing into the pool. Instead, as she leaped into the water with deliberate intent, the photograph was taken directly in the middle of her impressive and calculated flips.
It looks like she’s about to make a huge splash when she hits the water! But, of course, things would be a lot more fun and interesting if the Olympics promoted splashing.
When You Mistake Someone’s Head for the Ball
Clearly, this goalkeeper became engrossed at the moment and mistook himself for a goalkeeper defending the net from an incoming ball. Instead, his instincts told him to punch a player out of the way.
The fellow to his bottom is having a good laugh, but it won’t be long before he realizes that this man may be in desperate need of a nose job.
What the Heck Happened Here?
Let’s do this by taking it apart piece by piece. In the right picture, we see the player’s helmet soaring into the air. To the left of the picture, we see who the helmet belongs to.
We don’t know how he ended up in that position, and his helmet was found hundreds of feet away. Nevertheless, this is a pivotal moment that might be followed by the baseball player surviving a potentially career-ending injury.
Even Horses Need a Break
That horse did not want to put up with it, and that was made abundantly clear when he was positioned right in the middle of the racetrack. He turned the race into a rodeo in no time and threw the jockey to the ground.
It is clear to see from the sideways glance in the horse’s eye that this was no accident. So it’s possible that someone put a big bet on this particular horse.
It was a stroke of luck that this picture was taken. Despite the player taking a chance by running full speed to get to the base in time, he opted for an amazing leap rather than a sprint to get there.
The fact that his helmet flew off to the side proves how much force he put into his leap of faith. We hope that this investment in the power slide has been profitable.
Is This Why Non-Americans Call It Football?
This poor guy had no idea what was going to happen. But, on the other hand, number 28 may have kicked a little higher than necessary because he focused on the game and kept the ball on his side of the field.
He looks as if he is in a complete state of shock. We are certain that the pain set in shortly after. I believe his team should be awarded a few penalty kicks for this game.
There are definitely looks in their eyes that make us think of two kids who have stayed up way past their bedtime playing basketball. But, unfortunately, it appears that Mom made her way into the living room after the lights were turned off, and they are caught in the act.
Despite being on opposing teams, these two appear to be great friends! We’re curious as to what has them so surprised in this photo. Regardless, it doesn’t appear that either of them will abandon the ball.
If that isn’t the face of terror, I’m not sure what is. The Irish tennis player, Louk Sorensen, barely dodges a tennis ball just to the side of his face as he plays at the 2010 Australian Open.
Is this a basketball game or a ballet performance? Looking at this New York Knicks player, J.R. Smith, you can tell he’s currently putting on a solo show for all of his friends to see. Unfortunately, while in the air, it appears as if he is about to split in two!
Smith most likely nailed a slam dunk while this photo was being taken. It appears to be a tense situation. Everyone behind him is giddy with excitement. In any case, it appears he put on a great show!
Taking In Some Sweet Oxygen
The photographer captured this swimmer, mid-race, just as he was in the middle of a deep breath. These are the moments that onlookers rarely get to see from the bleachers when they are watching.
The cascading water from the swimmer creates the illusion of being beneath a natural waterfall. But, unfortunately, the race against Michael Phelps is improbable to be done peacefully.
An Uninvited Surfing Buddy
When it comes to a lack of serenity… This surfer could be in for a rude surprise. He’s riding the gigantic wave, but he’s not the only one who’s along for the ride.
Everything about the surfers’ epic ride looks impressive, and the perfectly timed photo accentuates that. But, of course, it would be great if this surfer doesn’t meet any new friends while he’s making his way down the wave.
What Are Friends For?
This is, to say the least, awkward. One of two things could be going on here: Either this fellow discovered a flawless new defense tactic, or he is helping out a friend. Regardless of what happens in this scene, I doubt it will result in a two-pointer.
This player made the worst choice of all by digging for gold during these tough economic times. However, I suspect that there are no boundaries when it comes to the purity of true friendship.
He’s Got Style; He’s Got Grace
Do you remember who our favorite basketball ballerina was? This football star might think about inviting him to perform a duet with him. But, instead, he deflected that tackle so gracefully that he deserves a standing ovation.
I have no idea how he managed to jump this high. However, that photographer captured him in just the right position, and he could have appeared as though he was flying.
Now That’s Gonna Leave a Bruise
Quite often, the best action shots happen away from the playing field. In most cases, spectators are ready to catch a stray baseball, but a bat is rarely expected. There was no way this poor man could have predicted what happened to him.
We’re glad the photographer was there to capture the moment, even if he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. All we can say is that we hope he was able to return home with that stray bat.
Every Man for Himself!
Both of those people’s faces tell a story of sheer panic. It looks like these people just saw the boogeyman and are in a big hurry to getaway. But, unfortunately, the photographer was just in the nick of time, capturing the scene just before it had been completely decimated.
It is quite possible that what’s about to happen is not an imaginary monster, but instead, the soccer ball certainly is. This stress is something they must deal with daily.
Looking Flawless on the Fly
Watch as our favorite tennis legend gets back to doing what she does best. In this case, Williams is simply ignoring the tennis ball, which is exactly what she would do in every instance.
The photographer could catch her in the perfect moment as she prepared to make a spectacular backhand swing. Despite being in the middle of her high-intensity training session, Serena still looks incredible.
A Real Skull-crusher
You can clearly see the tremendous force that went into that kick in this photo. His successful kick produces a ripple effect that extends all the way to his opponents’ rear, with their smiles coming off.
At least it was not his actual face that took the blow. As you can see, there would be no way to attain the level of aesthetically-pleasing visuals that this scene provides.
This baseball guy got smacked right in the face and was fortunate not to miss several teeth. But, looking at the photo, it seemed as though he had butterfingers that day and could not hold his grasp on the ball.
We’re hoping he at least managed to slow the ball’s momentum because if not, he’ll be out of this game with a broken nose. At the very least, he has a cool photo to accompany it.
The Cinderella of Rio
In the morning, someone must have forgotten to tie her shoes. Etenesh Diro, an Ethiopian track star, was a fan favorite at the 2016 Olympics in Rio after winning the 3000-meter steeplechase with only one shoe.
After a mid-race collision, Diro lost her shoe. However, instead of giving up, she continued racing and came in seventh place. Diro was granted permission to proceed to the next round after filing an appeal.
When You’re Too Stubborn to Stop and Ask for Directions
If you were to look at this photo, you might believe it was edited, but we are here to tell you that this great picture is genuine. You can see Robbie Madison, an Australian motorbike stunt rider, in the picture below.
Robbie has decided to take his stunts to the Pacific, proving that he knows no bounds. He prepared for this event for two years. We’re just grateful that a talented photographer was present to capture this stunt in all of its glory.
Someone Call for Halep!
Due to her existing predicament Simona Halep, a Romanian tennis player, is in an unflattering situation. We’re not sure she had time to evade that tennis ball that was on course to hit her in the head.
It’s remarkable how well this photographer was able to get this moment on camera. It’s impossible to conceal her fear. You can tell what she is thinking by the look on her face.
This basketball referee appears to be a royal figure. Either that, or he was simply in the right place at the right time, and we ordinary humans were fortunate enough to have a picture to prove it.
Even if no one is bowing down to him, we all know that sports officials sometimes believe they are royalty. But, unfortunately, San Antonio appears to be content to be subjects in this guy’s kingdom, based on the scoreboard.
May I Have This Dance?
Is this a ballroom competition or a wrestling match? As they waltz arm in arm on the mat, these wrestlers resemble dance partners. Their romantic moment was captured for all to see, which is fortunate for us.
It looks like these people are overcome by emotion in light of their moment of perfection. Is it one person leading the dance, or is it many people? Based on our assumption, we believe the man in blue is the suspect.
A former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, Antwaan Randle El, gets himself into a sticky situation against Cleveland Browns. He retired in 2012 after announcing his intentions to do so.
We’re guessing that predicaments like the one depicted here played a big role in his decision to retire. This is an excellent illustration of the risks associated with keeping the ball. We can only imagine how sore he must have been after this game.
I Believe I Can Fly
Or, at the very least, she wishes she could. So we hope this photo isn’t what it appears to be and that her routine is running smoothly. But, unfortunately, her facial expression is telling the opposite.
It appears as though she is on the verge of falling on her face. Bracing for impact, she is mentally preparing for the upcoming stunt, which will be difficult.
Keep Your Head in the Game
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, a Norwegian hockey player, appears to have lost his mind. This perplexing photo, taken during a tense moment during the Finland vs. Norway match, raises many questions.
Because of the force of the tackle, his helmet must have come off. It appears to be floating in mid-air, and his head is missing. His invisibility act does not appear to impress the guy in the audience.
Oh, Em Gee!
Drew Gooden, a professional basketball player, is not chill in this perfectly timed photo. Instead, he appears to be either terrified or ecstatic at the sight of the incoming ball. From 2010 to 2013, Gooden was a member of the Milwaukee Bucks.
He also played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, and Washington Wizards during his NBA career… I suppose he overcame his secret fear of basketballs.
As they cross the finish line, Andre De Grasse and Usain Bolt exchange a laugh. At the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, the two-track stars finished first and second in the 200m semi-final. The two also enjoyed watching the race together, elevating their bromance to new heights of cuteness.
Bolt won three gold medals in Rio, which was his final Olympic appearance. De Grasse did not win a gold medal, but he did become Canada’s first male athlete to win a medal.
Cowboy Getting Bullied
Everyone does not have the courage to ride an enraged bull, knowing that they will be thrown off. This guy had to know something like this would happen, but that doesn’t make it any easier for him.
As he watches the rider falls out of the air headfirst, the bull looks as cheeky as ever. This gem deserves to be framed, so we hope he can appreciate a good photograph.
We don’t know much about wrestling rules, but something tells me this move isn’t legal. All he has to do now is bite down on his opponent’s hand, and the game is over.
This shows the Canadian competitor doesn’t realize and doesn’t loosen his grip. No matter how hard we try, we are led to wonder if this picture is the reason for some disciplinary points.
Don’t Try This at Home
From the looks of this soccer game photo, it appears to have been ripped right out of a blockbuster action movie. Players could easily be photoshopped to look like they are running away from a bomb that is about to explode.
In Hollywood, this type of dive into the ball would be called “explosive,” but even diving here is nothing short of incredible. This player has no limits to the extraordinary efforts he is willing to make to keep the ball out of his goal.
Up High for Tiger
Tiger Woods gives his caddie a high five during the 2005 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. This was the ninth time that Woods had completed his mission of obtaining fifteen major championships.
His fourth green jacket, the official attire for members of the Augusta National, received it due to his great performance. That must be agreed because his enthusiastic high-five was well deserved.
Dennis Rodman, an NBA player who recently retired, has returned to action, charging after a loose ball. People often call him “the worm” because of his ability to fight on the defensive like this.
Photos like these help cement his reputation as one of the best defensive players of all time in basketball. Rodman was a member of the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Mavericks during his NBA career.
Just Keep Swimming
There’s no way to get this ping pong player to leave his comfort zone. He appears to be a fish out of water that has just spotted today’s dinner and is determined to catch it.
This guy can teach us a thing or two about concentration. Who knew that keeping one’s eye on the ball could be so difficult? He’s in a staring contest, and he’s not going to lose.
Speaking of Eye on the Ball
The facts as we know them to suggest that she was incapable of making another choice. This is an impossible situation for her. The ball is about to head straight for her face, and there is nowhere else to look.
She can see what will happen, yet she just can’t take her eyes off of it. So while she was apprehensive, a photographer was there to capture the exact moment that her fear would turn to anger before it could escalate any further.
Stefania Berton and Ondrej Hotarek, both Italian figure skaters, compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Hotarek effortlessly throws his partner over his head, and the two are caught in the act.
The Italian skater resembles a spinning dough to their roots as he is spinning in circles, with his arms spread and hands gesturing while spinning like a chef preparing the world’s tastiest pizza.
Game, Set, Rage
This tennis player is not taking any of this lightly. However, she released all her anger on the ball, which served as her catharsis. We sincerely hope she doesn’t get assigned to us as an opponent in any of our matches.
With this girl, fierce has been taken to a whole new level. Unfortunately, our imagination does not allow us to picture what she’s going through, but we hope that she could completely leave everything behind on the court.
When the Beat Drops
It would be great if we received an invitation to this dance party. Unfortunately, the soccer players in this clip appear to have forgotten that the game was taking place, as they now dance and move with no regard for the crowd watching.
Even though they are on opposing teams, their motions appear to be coordinated to perfection. We’re not sure if flash dances in the middle of a soccer game are a thing yet, but they should be.
Head Held High
It looks like something straight out of a science fiction movie, just a split-second long. Taking photos with your friends as they work out seems to work well with gymnastics, as seen in these endearing pictures.
This picture should be approached with caution or at the very least double-checked. The rhythmic gymnast’s head appears to have detached from her body during her routine, and her ball has taken its place.
B-boying for Life
We couldn’t help but be impressed with the impressive headstands these wrestlers show off during the middle of a match. They might also consider participating in break dancing as a side gig.
With these b-boy skills, they could potentially go far in wrestling if it doesn’t work out. We just hope that they could come to an agreement and finish the match without any neck injuries.
A Not so Graceful Landing
The sport of figure skating is well-known for being one of the most graceful sports ever to exist, and watching a professional skater perform their routine is both inspiring and awe-inspiring. An exhilarating element to many of their more audacious endeavors is that it takes the audience’s breath away every time they jump.
Experienced skaters, on the other hand, usually manage to nail even the most impressive moves while making every twist, turn, and jump appear effortless. Unfortunately, skaters can end up fumbling a landing or falling in the middle of a routine due to accidents. We’ve never seen an ice-skating disaster quite like this one. This poor skater had so much momentum on her side that she slammed into the rink’s wall.
At the moment, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is caught in the heat of the moment. However, we can tell by his windup that this football will last the entire length of the game.
Brady is in his element in this photo, flanked by several players who are actively participating in the game. Despite this, he remains in the zone, and we are right there with him.
Federica Pellegrini, a gold medalist swimmer at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, stretches before her event. As she mentally prepares for her race, the photographer captured the Italian superstar lost in thought. Pellegrini has had anxiety issues in the past and tends to panic before or even during races.
Before the race, she worked with a sports psychologist to overcome her fears, and he assisted her to overcome her nerves. In 2012, she was taken aback by the outpouring of support from the crowd, which helped her relax before jumping in. All we can hope is that she remembers to remove her sneakers.