We disagree often, but on this...I'm with you. This is the most pedantic bull**** I have seen in a while.I think it's silly to say "make an ability check modified by your athletics proficiency bonus". It's wordy, overly complicated and adds no value. I have no idea why the dev team thought it was an improvement. I have yet to hear anyone on a stream or in real play say it that way*. Besides, the player doesn't get to decide if the proficiency applies, the DM does. The player may ask if a proficiency or different ability is appropriate but the DM makes the call.
Every standard character sheet I've seen has a list of all the skills with the calculated value right there. We use DndBeyond so it's right on the front page. Easy to understand for newbies, easy to explain.
But again, I'm done arguing semantics. When I run my games I will continue to say "Make an athletics check", feel free to report me to the RPG police.
*My exposure is, admittedly limited to a couple of streams and a handful of AL DMs. I'm sure someone somewhere does it.
Having said that, I think the idea was to encourage using different ability scores along with proficiency in skill; make a DEX(Athletics) check, or a STR(Intimidation) check. I feel if they were really into that idea, they would have foregone assigning each skill to an ability (which would have been more interesting).