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Professional athletes include baseball, football, basketball, hockey and tennis players; golfers, ice skaters, skiers, swimmers and surfers – basically anyone who plays a sport in front of an audience and gets paid for it. In this way, professional athletes are like entertainers. They must perform well in each game or risk losing. If they don’t play well, they won’t last long.
The work of professional athletes is very demanding. This includes both physical and mental stress. They must be in the best possible shape. Most modern athletes work out all year, during both the season and off-season. During the regular season, professional athletes often practice more than 40 hours a week. Basketball players, for example, spend hours and hours working on their dribble or jump shot.
Professional athletes must be able to perform their jobs at the highest level at all times. They have other duties as well – such as going to meetings and making public appearances. They can’t just leave the job at the office like workers in other jobs can. Also, this profession doesn’t offer much job security since athletes face the constant threat of injuries that could end their careers, and they can be replaced by a “better” player at any time. Athletes often move to the place where their team is located. So if management decides to trade them, they may have to move again.
Athletic people often dream of getting a job as a “pro” athlete. The competition is intense for the relatively few professional athlete jobs that are available. Baseball, football, and basketball players may earn millions a year if they are superstars with lots of fans who enjoy watching them play. However, few athletes ever make it that far. It’s a good idea, then, to have another job in mind as well.
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