Episode #7 - Louisa Nicola

#15MinuteFounder

In this episode with Louisa Nicola, we discuss all the best hacks to become a top performer and feel at your best.

Neurophysiologist and human performance coach, Louisa Nicola is the founder and head performance advisor of Neuro Athletics – a human performance coaching firm that boasts the highest-performing athletes and executives in the world. Neuro Athletics brings science-based solutions to elite performers who want to perform at their peak. Louisa graduated from the University of Sydney Medical School and specialises in neurophysiology.

Highlights

The Journey to Performance Coaching

Louisa’s journey into performance coaching began in the medical field as a neurophysiologist. Her work involved conducting brain scans to detect conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment. The turning point came when she scanned the brain of a high-performing hedge fund manager, revealing a brain aged beyond his years. This discovery fueled her passion for helping individuals optimize their brain function and performance.

From Medical Expertise to Global Education

Louisa’s transition to a global education platform stemmed from her desire to share her knowledge on a larger scale. Leveraging her background in teaching and medicine, she utilized social media, particularly Instagram, to educate people on the brain’s role in performance. Her efforts have since evolved into Neuro Athletics, a company dedicated to coaching and educating on principles of human performance.

Key to Peak Performance

She identifies several common traits among high performers:

  • Preparation: Successful individuals plan their mornings the night before, adhering to a structured routine.

  • Clear Objectives: They have clear, quantifiable goals and understand the steps necessary to achieve them.

  • Resilience: Top performers possess the ability to move past setbacks and negative thoughts quickly.

The Role of Routine and Environment

Contrary to popular belief, Louisa argues that specific routines or activities, like cold plunges or sauna sessions, are not direct paths to success. Instead, these practices create an environment conducive to productive work, essential for achieving goals.

On Setting and Achieving Goals

She emphasizes the importance of understanding the ‘why’ behind goals, suggesting that education and a genuine desire are crucial for goal attainment. She also highlights the necessity of adapting exercise and dietary habits to individual health and performance goals, advocating for a personalized approach to fitness and nutrition.

Optimizing Diet and Sleep

In terms of diet, Louisa advises against rigid dietary frameworks, recommending a balanced diet with minimal processed foods and alcohol. She also underscores the importance of supplements like creatine and omega-3 fatty acids for overall health and brain function. When it comes to sleep, consistency in bedtime routines and creating an optimal sleep environment are key for maximum recovery and performance.

Advice for Knowledge Workers

For those in knowledge-intensive roles, Nicola suggests incorporating “exercise snacks” throughout the day to boost blood flow and concentration. She also recommends minimizing distractions, like mobile phone usage, to maintain focus and productivity.

Time stamps

00:29 When did you know you wanted to become a performance coach?

02:00 Evolving into a media platform

03:03 Discovering and evolving your content

04:51 Overcoming challenges

06:01 Training athletes & CEOs to achieve peak performance

06:49 Morning habits of high performers

10:00 The link between morning routines and achieving success

11:59 Setting goals

14:09 Best way to approach exercise

15:40 Enhancing your health to combat Alzheimer’s disease

17:07 Common diet mistakes

19:12 Maximizing sleep quality

22:33 What’s your morning routine

24:00 What diet works for you

25:04 Deviating from your routine

26:22 Productivity tips

28:25 Identifying the ideal number of work hours

30:37 Future goals

31:33 Money, power, fame, or pleasure

32:06 Exploring personal beliefs

32:51 Rapid fire questions

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