Sorry to rain on the shopping parade, but you need experience far more than you need equipment. You've already got decent picture making equipment; spend your time using that to make the best images you possibly can. Give yourself a year with what you've got. A few suggestions:
1. Get involved with a photo club or some class or group that will critique your work constructively. Typically, they will give you "challenges" to go out and get a particular type of picture so you have to get focused on what it takes to MAKE that kind of image.
2. Limit your shooting to only one lens for a day or week or so. That forces you to live within the limitations of that lens and schools you in the discipline of being challenged by limitations. Photography is nothing if not dealing with limitations. The better you get at accepting and dealing with that, the better photographer you will become.
3. Take pictures relentlessly. Shoot every single day. Maybe for 2013, do a 365 project where you have to take and post a picture every day. This forces you to do the work that makes you better.
4. Do some formal training (reading, classes, online videos, etc.) in the theory of photography -- composition, lighting, optics, etc. I know the more I do this the more it eventually sinks in.
Finally, if you can't resist playing Santa for yourself this month, get one of these two lenses:
EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro. This gives you a tighter portrait capability as well as a new option to try some macro work.
EF 135mm f/2.0L. This provides some reach for the sports you mentioned, and it's great for low light, nighttime work. If you get this, go out and walk around at night taking pictures. Also spend a day doing "headhunting," portraits of everyone you see.
Both of those are L-class lenses and will become part of your kit when you move to full-frame photography. Also, you can get either one for less than $1000US.
Thanks for asking -- a good first step.
I agree 100%, expierience is Key. L lenses are there for the pros. Ive got an l macro and its awesome, and i love it but money can be spent much wiser. Go out and buy some cheap primes if you really want some new lenses. Primes make you expierience the world differently.
-canon 50mm 1.8
-canon 85mm 1.8
-old canon 35mm f2
-old canon 24mm/28mm 2.8
-canon 100mm f2
-canon 60mm 2.8 ef-s
-canon 15mm 2.8
-canon 135mm 2.8 soft focus
-canon 20mm 2.8
-or even the canon 200mm f2.8 l
All these primes are sub $1000, all the ones in the top group would total $3000
L lenses are the pinnacle of lenses, but they're pro quality. Unless the photos you take will be printed poster size plus, you don't need a l lens.
If I had to go on a shoot with a 5dii and a 50mm 1.2 or a giant load of primes with a rebel, I'd go rebel. Lenses make the image. That's why not a lot of pros shoot with an 18-200. And I think anybody's friends would be just as jealous or think you're just as pro with 7 nice lenses, rather than a 1.2l
I like to think that amateurs unless they're filthy stinkin' rich should set a budget for gear prices. If you have to spend a year saving up for a 5d iii and an l lens, when you just shoot your kids, your wasting time and money. People are allowed to choose what they do, and I respect that, but I enjoy using my primes and my rebel to make stunning images, I make a little cash here and there, but not enough to justify such an expensive purchase. I buy the cheaper primes so I can make interesting images, my l macro is for the flowers, portraits, and I shoot everything with it. I've put aside a fund for a 70-200, since I use my telephoto for most of my profitable photos.
But I love primes, and that is how I learned and still learn how to shoot. Although the 1.2 lenses will wow all your friends and family for portraits, something like the canon 60mm macro or the 15mm fisheye will wow everyone, and that is where you could start making money, and the l lenses will become more justifyible.
I have my own printer for my house framing, and I love playing with it, it teaches me how to work colors, and now I can justify purchasing a large format printer. But, start out with your rebel, a couple primes, and some lessons, and you'll go far. You can actually ask Walgreens to print photos, and it's fairly cheap. I purchased 2 4x6's for 42 cents.
But if you really want an l lens, 135mm f2, or 100mm l macro. I highly recommend the macro.
And, best thing about small primes, you can wrap them and put them in your stockings
Santa left me a 50mm 1.8 ii, a 28mm 1.8, and a 430 ex ii nobody knew.