What is Performance and How It Can Prevent Injuries

Performance is your capacity and proficiency to carry out the results of your training

Just recently, one of my mentor shared a video about restoring hip extension for athletes post injury. He’s talking about the possibility of athletes to “forget” how to engage their glutes (a.k.a butt cheeks) post treatment of the ankles or the knees. If you want to geek out about hip extensions and how to improve them, you can watch the full video about it here (http://www.otpbooks.com/craig-liebenson-hip-extension/)

The statement that really caught my attention on that video is this quote:

“What enhances performance, prevents injury”

Wow, what a statement. Depending on how you are raised, and the people that you surround yourself with, you may think that the best way to prevent injury is to perform good habits, such as warm up, stretching, mobility and movement awareness. But enhancing your performance? Bet that didn’t come up a lot.

But let’s think about this a little bit more. How do you define performance? In our classes, we have three scaling: Health, Athletic and Performance. Have you ever thought about how they are different? Well here they are:

  1. Health: This scaling is intended for people with health goals, meaning better cholesterol level, better weight management and overall health markers (blood pressure, etc)

  2. Athletic: Most CrossFitters actually fall on this scaling. The goal of this scaling is to achieve athleticism, which includes, speed, agility, accuracy, coordination and balance to increase their physical skills and capabilities in playing sports.

  3. Performance: This is where it gets interesting. Your coach will translate this as the scaling for those who have been training over a year or interested in competing. And this is correct because those with experience and ready to compete will need to perform better. But “performance” cannot be defined like health and athleticism.

Here’s what I think:

Performance is your capacity and proficiency to carry out the results of your training

Unlike health markers or the show of athleticism during a game, performance is how much and how well you can apply what you learned during training. It is the mastery of the movement, the application of intensity and the expression of power.

Performance is an act, but also an action of carrying a task or a mission.

Your task or your mission as you wod is to perform functional movements. To say that enhancing your performance will prevent injury, simply means that the better you perform a movement, the least chance you will have for injury.

When you pick a scaling, whether it’s health, athletics or performance, you want to think about how proficient you are in performing the movements in the workout. If you feel it’s a 4 out of 10, then scale it down so you can feel an 8. If you don’t know what you should do, raise your hand and ask your coach.

Performance doesn’t mean complex movements, heavy weights and high reps. Performance is your capacity and mastery to perform complex movements in heavy weights for high reps. We can prevent so many injuries if we can understand the the difference and acknowledge our current progression.

Preventing injuries is in your hands. All the resources are available to you before you dive into a workout, all you have to do is decide.