Sometimes we are slaves to our thinking and that certainly relates to how we sometimes use our gear and approach our subject matter.
I had visited 104th St in Delta to photograph the Tropical kingbird with the idea of getting a few decent flight shots. My previous tripod mounted efforts left much to be desired.
For me, hand holding a heavy and somewhat cumbersome 500 F4 for long periods of time is no easy task. Even the best autofocus systems can have difficulty keeping up with the erratic swooping up and down motion of a bird that is 'hawking' insects.
Waiting for the Kingbird to leave its perch took a great deal of concentration, it meant holding the camera to the eye for several minutes at a time.
In this case a good method to steady a handheld camera is to place both arms against the ribs (forming a tripod) and squeeze the camera body while pressing the shutter button, this technique keeps the lens steady leaving the photographer to concentrate of the flight path of the bird.
With this approach I was able to capture a number in-focus shots, a far higher success rate that was achieved using a Gimbal head and tripod.
I hope this helps your photography, I was certainly helped me achieve my self-assigned project.