Regardless if you are traveling across the world or even across the United States to play the US Nationals, changing timezone can cause jet lag for anyone. Could it affect your performance? Absolutely!
There are 5 quick tips that I would like to share...
1. Get plenty of rest before your trip. If you have been sleeping 8-9 hours each night, then getting a partial night sleep won't be too bad. If you stayed up until 5am every night packing your bags or practicing your serves, you will be completely exhausted before you leave!
2. Arrive Early. If you can arrive 1-2 days early, then your body will have plenty of time to adjust.
3. No naps. Try your best to stay up the first day. If you wake up at 3am in NYC and fly out at 6am and arrive in Las Vegas at 8am, try your best to stay awake the first day. If you nap 5 hours when you arrive, you will likely no be able to sleep and therefore cannot adjust to the new timezone.
4. Stay Hydrated. Statistics have proven that you are 100x more likely to caught a cold while flying then driving to your destination. Because of the dry air in the airplane, your nasal passages will tend to crack and your can easily absorb the germs from the many sick passengers crammed into a small space. To avoid catching a cold, you should drink about 4 bottles of water prior to boarding. Every hour on the airplane, you should drink another 1-2 bottles. Also, take a very high dose of vitamin C prior to boarding.
5. Don't think about it. If you didn't get much sleep the night before, don't dwell on it too much during the tournament - it will lead to negative thinking. If you didn't sleep much, you still must perform and still must give your best. Personally, I have played some of my best matches after only getting 2-3 hours of sleep the night before. Rest is important, but even without it, you can still perform. Just stay positive!
Traveling To Tournaments