Fast shutter speed (1/500s or faster) is the key to stopping action. Set the camera to Shutter Priority mode and select the fastest shutter speed possible for the given lighting conditions. If you can't get at least 1/500s, increase ISO bit by bit until you get the desired results.
In find it more comfortable to use aperture priority mode. If light is abundant, I'm sure it will support fast shutter speeds so I set aperture to largest f/number. That way I get the fastest shutter speed available. I recommend starting at ISO 400 then increase if you want more action stopping power.
Focus on a spot where you would be taking the shot and set the camera from there. Lock AE. It would help if you turn AF off so the lens won't have to move as you track the subject. When the subject reaches the pre-selected spot, press the button while still following the subject. You should get something like the picture above. This technique will work best if you are to the side of the subject.
Sometimes, you can make blur to your advantage. It can be used to show motion. If that is your aim, just select a slower shutter speed.
Now you know!