“Unstoppable” Angela Lee may have a phenomenal skill set and talent to hold the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship for years to come, but what separates her from every other martial artist is her ability to maintain a winning mindset.
While the 20-year-old has been developing her martial arts repertoire ever since she was a toddler, she also spent that time building mental toughness and a positive attitude. That has led her to numerous martial arts championships, and of course, a perfect 7-0 record and the coveted ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title.
Now, as Lee prepares to defend her belt against Istela Nunes at ONE: DYNASTY OF HEROES on 26 May, she shares three tips on how to maintain a winning mindset.
#1 Toughen Up Your Mind
Most martial artists spend the majority of their camp preparing their bodies for a physical battle, but often neglect the mental aspect. To prosper and forge ahead in one’s career, the mind needs to be sharp at all times. After all, it is often said in sports that the challenge is 90 per cent mental, and the champ believes having the right mentality is imperative for success.
“In competition, the mental part is a huge factor. I am really grateful because I learned and developed mental toughness from an early age. My dad is my head coach, but he is also my mentor,” Lee explains.
“He gives me advice on anything, whether it is training-related or everyday life. Those lessons he teaches me I can apply when I compete in the cage and when I am not in the cage, so I think just from a young age I had that mental toughness.”
#2 Have Confidence In Your Training And Vision
In order achieve victory, one must believe and become entirely dedicated to the vision. That involves working hard in the gym, feeling confident in training, building upon one’s skills and maintaining focus regarding the primary objective. It may be an simple formula, but according to Lee, it is effective.
“When I am doubting myself, one thing I can trust in is I have put in the hours in the gym, I have made the sacrifices I needed to get to where I am at today, and I put in the work. If you put in the work, you are going to get your results. It is a pretty simple equation,” she states.
“At times, when I may be overthinking things like, ‘What if I do not do well?’ It is like, ‘No, I put in the hours and I put in the work. This is my passion and this is what I love to do.’ So I need to keep that in my mind. If you keep remembering why you are doing it, I think it will help to keep things in check.”
#3 Surround Yourself With A Great Support System
The constant grind of training camp and dieting can take its toll on anyone. It could, and will, lead to second guessing one’s self. That is why it is important to be surrounded by a great support system — be it coaches, teammates, friends, or family members.
Fortunately for Lee, she can always rely on her family to help boost her self-esteem in the rare instances when it seems to deflate.
“They are there when you are doubting yourself. You can always go to them for reassurance,” she says of her family.
“My family is my anchor, they keep me humble and they keep me grounded, but they are also the ones who motivate me to keep chasing my dreams, so I think it is very important [to have a support system]. I am very lucky to have my family as a great support system.”