Discover your research interest

One must be extremely passionate about the research question they are pursuing. It is reflected in the output produced. A research interest may be developed over a period of time. In my case, I developed an affinity for the sports industry through watching soccer and had no qualms when the opportunity to contribute to sports literature arrived.

Be patient

Patience is the virtue that is tested the most when undertaking research. It is a commitment on the part of the researcher to continue with a patient and resilient attitude even when faced with challenges during the course of the research. For context, it took me almost a year to produce my first publication but I remained calm and composed at all times, thinking about the final goal.

Listen and observe

Listening and observational skills are vital for conducting research. The best ideas come from outside your industry. At American University in the Emirates (AUE), professors from different colleges were consulted to share their perspectives and helped in adding a new dimension to the research question. At Al Nasr Football Club (ANFC), I personally interviewed the staff members from all departments (Technical, Medical and Human Resource) to listen to their viewpoint which contributed immensely in the submission of my final report.

Set deadlines and meet them

Time is of the essence in the research sphere; adhering to set deadlines helps to keep a track of the progress on the working project. Final deadline should be broken down into short milestone deadlines. The meeting of milestone deadlines builds up confidence and displays your ability to complete the required task within a stipulated timeframe.

Respect your supervisor

In academic and professional research, supervisors play a fundamental role. They nurture your existing skillset and help in navigating the twists and turns which one may encounter during research. Dr. Leonardo Mataruna at AUE and Mr. Jan Versleijen at ANFC provided inputs at various stages of my research activities by sharing their vast experience in the sports industry. When the going got tough, my supervisors acted as a source of inspiration, provided a pillar of support and motivated me to perform at the optimum level.

Before I conclude, I would like to share a quote: 

Hard work will always overcome natural talent, when natural talent does not work hard enough.

Sir Alex Ferguson

Guest author Mohammed Sayeed Khan
Guest author Mohammed Sayeed Khan

Mohammed Sayeed Khan is a Research and Development Intern at Al Nasr Football Club (ANFC) and an Undergraduate Research Assistant at The American University in the Emirates (AUE) in Dubai. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering from Delhi Technological University, India. His scholarly work includes “Contemporary scenario of Muslim women and sport in the United Arab Emirates: Pathways to the vision 2021” published by Olimpianos – Journal of Olympic Studies in 2019.

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