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There are several competitions where teams have to travel during the season and trips might even mean difference of several time zones. This is very prominent in KHL (9 hours between Vladivostok and Zagreb) but also in NHL (3 hours between Boston and Anaheim), probably some other competitions in USA, Russia and maybe some international leagues.

Do team and players have some strategies to help them deal with having to change time zones quite often?

As an example I can mention that I read here (article in Slovak language) that players of Slovan Bratislava (KHL) stick to the daily routine as if they were still in their time zone. (Which means, for example, going to sleep very late at night - local time - which would correspond to about eleven P.M. in Bratislava.)

Note that the question is not exclusively about ice hockey, similar problems might occur in many other sports. (I have mentioned ice hockey since this is where I noticed it.)

  • The Russian club Luch Energiya from Vladivostok played several years in the highest league, almost qualifying for European competitions in 2006. I recall an article in the Dutch football magazine Voetbal International by Peter Wekking around Christmas 2005 about the club. I do not have it, but it may contain the information you need. – Braamstruik May 4 '15 at 10:14
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I am going to answer from my own experience. I am a travelling soccer player that plays with around 21 other travelling soccer players that have flown across the world.

When going forward (example: America to Germany): What we generally do in this situation was go to bed as early as we could. Very often, I would stay in bed doing nothing but laying there thinking about the games. Also, the first day I was in the Germany, we would not sleep till it was late. Generally when you arrive you have a massive urge to sleep, though if you push through it gives you an advantage.

When going backward (example: East Coast to West Coast): What we did was to stay up a bit passed midnight. When we arrived it took very little time to adapt. I would say that going backward is not nearly as hard as going forward.

Hopefully this helps!

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