I would say they are motivated by passion...which then leads into a career --> money. But I don't necessarily believe all of them play for money...but b/c it is their job, they need an income to support themselves since it probably wouldn't benefit them much financially if they go to another field.
I think it's both too. Some players play for money and some play for their passion. But also some players play even though they're injured and would get paid even if they sat out so I guess that's passion > money.
I think it starts off as passion for the game. the dream starts in high school and continues to grow during college. However, once they start playing as a professional and start earning the big bucks, their attention turns to how to make more money as opposed to I play because I love the game
I personally believe that athletes play for the passion of the game and monetary rewards are just an incentive for them to perform at their best. It is not often that we see a good athlete play for a couple of seasons and after gettin a lot of money, quit. Most athletes tend to stay in their sport because that's what they love. Take for instance Brett Favre, who is in an age period where your body just can't take the physical contact football provides, however he comes back year after year from retirement, because he just can't leave the game. He already has millions of dollars, so money isnt an issue however it is his passion for the game, through which he has sacrificed his blood and tears, that keeps pulling him back. Yes, some athletes do play for money, but it is a very few number. The primary reason why athletes risk their lives (in dangerous sports and take the physical beating) is because they love the game.
I think that it is difficult for someone who doesn't have a passion for the game to become good enough to play professionally. Though the motives of many athletes change after achieving fame and success, I believe that the majority of them continue to play primarily because they love doing what they do.
I think it goes both ways because they are playing at a professional level meaning that they must have practice really hard for it and most people would only do that if it was something they were passionate about. On the other hand, because they are so good and they know going pro would make them bank, I think they also stay in it also for the money.
Some of them have passion, some of them do it for the money.
Antonio Bryant of the bucs has heart, you can tell by the way he practices and performs.
albert haynesworth of the redskins, however, seems like hes just in it for the money. He does well until the contract year, then he does really well and gets a huge contract and then falls back to just doing well.
Thats my opinion
I agree with what's been said. I think players start as kids and play through college, and become the super athletes that they are because of a passion for the game, and not the allure of money. THis is why college basketball can be so much more appealing than at the NBA level, as the college players care so much more about the team, than their own money. But as professionals, money begins to be a greater motivator than passion, and players make decisions and play harder based on the contracts they could be getting, rather than for how much they love they game.