Photo Tip #26-Learn To Pre-Focus
Autofocus is great but, if you’re photographing a bull in a rodeo or even a fast-moving child, learn to pre-focus your camera for better results. Put your camera on manual focus, and focus at a set distance, say 10 feet away. Then, wait for your subject to move into your frame of focus before exposing the image.
Fixed focal length lenses are usually easier to manually focus so this works best with a fixed (non-zoom) lens. Autofocus mechanisms can take as long as 8 seconds to properly focus; if your subject is moving through your frame faster than that speed (approximately) pre-focusing is probably your best bet.