A hat trick is quite a paradox.
On the one hand, you would love to get one at almost any point in your spell, but how many bowlers plot to do it?
Most of us consider it a stroke of luck, perhaps a once in a lifetime thing.
Yet we all know proper planning and preparation is the way to success so why not plan how you are going to knock down three in three?
As Arnold Palmer said, "It's a funny thing, the more I practice the luckier I get".
Here are 5 things you can do both before and during the game to get your hat trick.
1. Know your batsmen
Every player has a weakness. If you do your homework before the game you can give yourself an incredible advantage. Perhaps you know a certain player likes to get off the mark quickly and will flash outside the off stump early on. You could bowl a wider fuller ball and if it swings you have your man first ball.
2. Practice accuracy
Knowing where to bowl and bowling it there are two very different skills. Both are essential but you can practice your accuracy much more easily. Head to the nets with a bag of balls as often as you can. Don't worry about bringing a batsman. Just bowl to a target again and again until it is ingrained in your muscle memory. When the time comes to bowl the perfect ball on your way to a hat trick you will be ready.
3. Clear your mind
Now we come to the actual match situation. You are watching the new batsman come in and you have formulated your plan to get him or her. You have been practicing all season for this moment. You are probably a mixture of emotions. Now is the time to clear your mind and focus on this ball, not what has happened before or what may come. Your job is to bowl this ball perfectly so get back to 'ready' as fast as possible.
4. Use the adrenaline
Despite your mind being clear you should be anything but calm. The adrenaline of a wicket (or two in two) will be pumping. Bowling well requires explosive excitement like this so ride the wave. The incoming batsmen should be thinking they are in trouble just by your body language. His or her nerves will be jangling anyway (who wants to be part of a hat trick) and fear causes mistakes.
5. Bowl a cracker
Up until this point all the cards are stacked in your favour. You have the killer instinct and the batsman is new to the crease. You know their weaknesses and have cleared you mind of everything except the target to bowl at. Now is the time to bowl a real peach, because most batsmen (especially those on the hat trick ball) will do anything to stay in. You need to beat their defence.
But you can do it. Three great balls in a row are not impossible if you are well practiced and ready.
It's just a matter of putting in the planning. Not as hard as you might think.
Image credit: Prescott