Student Athlete Profile- David McManus

What is your sport?

Ultimate Disc

How many hours per week do you spend training/playing?

My usual routine is:
2 team trainings / skills trainings
3 Gym sets
1 Sprinting / footwork session
Most weeks a game or two

What study are you undertaking at ANU? What year of study are you in?

I’m doing a PhD in Physics (Department of Quantum Science), currently in my third year.

How do you juggle the commitments of playing sport and studying and does sport assist you in your academic pursuits?

It can be hard sometimes but I have a great supervisor who is very supportive. I find sport helps me to feel balanced and allows me to never get too stressed about my research.

Greatest sporting achievement.

Being selected in the Green & Gold team of the tournament at the Australian University Games last year in Perth while competing for the ANU Owls, and being selected on the Australian team for Beach World Championships. These have both felt like big moments in my sporting career.

Who has had the greatest influence on your sporting career thus far?

As a player to look up to it’s been Andrew Jackson who has played many seasons for my club team, I’ve also had a lot of support from my partner Angie.

Who is your sporting idol & why?

LeBron James, because even though he’s unbelievably talented he’s still a “team first” guy. He elevates his team-mates to play at a higher level instead of just relying on his own skill to carry them.

Any superstitions or unusual game day preparations?

Nothing strange, although it’s quite important for me to work myself into a good mental space since I’ve noticed it has a big impact on how well I play. That would be the main focus of my preparations for a game, along with the normal physical warm up you would expect.

Tell us something interesting or fascinating about yourself

I was lucky enough to be an author on a very important scientific paper which made world headlines (the detection of gravitational waves). The work I’m doing is on developing an instrument which may help improve the sensitivity of gravitational wave detectors. This will allow us to detect more signals from space which will help us learn about black holes and other things in the universe.

If you found yourself on Masterchef and had to cook one dish to win it all, what would your specialty dish be:

I’m a terrible cook, but I would try to cook ratatouille since I love the pixar movie of the same name.