Unfortunately I do not own this lens, rented the VRII and I did not want to send it back. I think for indoor swimming, most places are small enough that this lens could work very well. As far as soccer I would use a longer lens 400mm+. As far as weight goes nothing stops me from using anything I want when I want it. I trek 10 miles into the wild with 30+ pounds of gear on my back so I can have anything I want at my fingertips.
IQ is breathtaking, it is a sizable chunk of glass on the front of the camera however. I don't use it as much as I want as I don't use that focal length that much. It knocks the socks off of my 70-200.
It's a great indoor sports lens. If you can get on the field, 200mm can work there as well.
It's perfect for what you want IMHO. It is a big heavy chunk of lens though.
If you think of a 70-200 as a big lens for example, this one is considerably larger. I use mine as much as I can but it's certainly one of the lenses I really have to think long and hard about taking out with me.
Sharpness is incredible even at f2 and bokeh is probably the best of any Nikkor I've had.
It's also my most used lens for outdoor portraits and if I can get close enough, I use it for wildlife too!
These are unedited, straight out of the camera. First one the D3s the second the D800. Not my best shots ever but hopefully along the lines of what you are looking for.
Back in 1987, I borrowed one from NIKON. Magic lens, but, as I was shooting Motor Sport at the time, decided to go bigger.
Nothing wrong with the 200mm f2.0 lens, but, a lot of money for a lens with insufficient reach for my needs. Instead, I ended up purchasing a 500mm f4( manual focus & then AF-I ), 800mm f5.6 and finally, a 300mm f2.8 AF-S.
I use my 180mm f2.8 AF and 70-200mm f2.8AF-S as well now.
I have the VR version of this lens, and I use it a lot.
I love the look of the shots I get from it. Most of the time I keep it wide open. That narrow depth of field draws your attention to what I want you to see.
It's a great portrait lens (who cares how messy or cluttered the background is if you never see it?). I also use for indoor volleyball and basketball. I think it's a little wide for football or soccer unless you like to run up and down the field. I used it with a 1.7 extender for an amateur golf tourney...I wish I could afford the 400/2.8!
I can handhold it for a while, but more usually I have it on a monopod.