Lighting is an art form in itself. And honestly lighting is really a study in shadows.
Lighting establishes mood, motion, time, and focus on the points of interest. There are rules, and the first rule is there really are no rules.
Since this is the basic portion of the information, I will focus on the technical need of the lighting and how it affects your image.
The imaging surface needs light to create a picture. The more light, the more detail can be captured in a shorter period of time. In astrophotography its not uncommoon to have exposures of several minutes due to the low level of lighting. In sports usually you will have quite a bit of light so you can use faster shutter speeds.
You can use flashes/strobes to light your subject or provide ambient light, or you can use continuous lighting. Or you can rely on available light meaning no artificial lighting was involved. Or you can use a mix of both.
Something else involved with lighting is the light temperature. The temperture is something that affects white balance. If shooting raw dont worry about it, just set to 5800K and be done with it, for now. If shooting to non raw formats then learning to set temp is critical. You will notice your pics are too blue, or too red/orange if set to too high or low of a temp for the lighting involved.