What are some good strategies/techniques for using a monopod while shooting sports?
I'm doing a lot of shooting of Figure Skating right now, and am finding the camera and 70-200mm lens is heavy enough that my wrist and elbow are sore at the end of each session.
I'm thinking that a monopod would help provide support and stability. However, I've never used one before, and am not sure how to shoot while using it.
I suppose also the monopod would reduce camera shake over hand-holding, but if my shutter speeds are 1/500s, will it make that much of a difference?
I'm guessing I need a ball head (or at least some kind of head) because mounting the camera/lens to the top of the monopod would be restricting for trying to track a moving target (panning and tilting). However, if you use a ball head, do you give up stability for freedom of movement?
I appreciate Alan's answer below, as it does answer some of my questions, but I was also kind of hoping for suggestions on technique (ie. how to use a tripod for support while tracking moving objects, and still get the benefits of stability and support).