There is training that is just work and leads nowhere – this is training as performance. This is the Crossfit WOD mentality that each workout is an end unto itself and must be as hard as possible to be good. These workouts make you very tired and sometimes even put you in the hospital.
Contrast that with real training, training that is contextual within the demands of the sport and the needs of the individual – this is training for performance. Each session has a specific goal and flows from the previous sessions and flows into the next session. There is a rhythm to the workouts – A hard workout is followed by an easier or less intense workout to allow for adaptation. This training makes you better by leading toward the goal of developing an adaptable athlete that will thrive in the competitive arena.
There is a clear distinction between the two approaches, if you are interested in getting better and making your training transfer then train for performance. Training accumulates in small increments, think of each workout as a small step to the podium.