Youth Football Online

The Promotion & Instruction of Youth Football
0 items -$0.00

Youth Football Online

The Promotion & Instruction of Youth Football
0 items -$0.00
Edit Content

Youth Football Online

When it comes to youth football, finding the right offensive strategy is essential for fostering player development, teamwork, and, of course, having fun and winning on the field. One such offensive scheme that has gained popularity in youth football is the Wildcat offense. In this content we’ll explore what the Wildcat offense is, its benefits, plays, and how coaches can implement it effectively. Here’s everything you need to know about the Wildcat Offense Formation Playbook.

Wildcat Offense Formation Playbook

What is the Wildcat Offense?

The Wildcat Offense Formation Playbook is a unique and exciting variation of traditional football offenses. Instead of relying on a quarterback to take the snap and make decisions, the Wildcat features a direct snap to a running back, often referred to as the “Wildcat quarterback.” This running back assumes the role of the playmaker, capable of running, passing, or even handing off the ball to another back. This is a direct snap offense that utilizes an unbalanced formation.

Benefits of the Wildcat Offense

Simplicity: The Wildcat is relatively straightforward, making it perfect for youth football. It minimizes the need for complex passing schemes and allows young players to focus on core football skills like blocking, running, and reading defenses.

Equal Involvement: Unlike traditional offenses where the quarterback often dominates the action, the Wildcat offense promotes equal involvement among players. Various positions, including running backs and wide receivers, can take on dynamic roles in the Wildcat, ensuring that everyone gets a chance to shine. If you have multiple kids that can run the football you can swap them in and out.

Development of Versatility: Youth players who participate in the Wildcat offense have the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills. They can work on running, passing, receiving, and decision-making, all of which are crucial components of well-rounded football players.

Confusing for Defenses: The Wildcat can be challenging for opposing defenses to defend. The direct snap and multiple play options can keep defenders guessing and create mismatches, leading to big gains on the field.

Ball Security: With the wildcat back taking the snap and immediately handing off, running with the ball, or passing the ball, there’s less risk of fumbled snaps or mishandled handoffs, which can be common issues in youth football due to less experienced players. You pretty much eliminate the handoff / mesh and gain an extra blocker at the point of attack.

Versatility: The direct0 snap can be used for a variety of plays, including running plays, options, reverses, and even trick plays. This versatility can keep the defense guessing and create opportunities for big gains.

Identity: This offense will give your team an identity. It is an offense you can build around.

Why you Should run the Wildcat Offense Formation Playbook

The Wildcat Formation is great because it will allow you to get your best player the ball very quickly. It will also give you an extra blocker at the point of attack, because there is no QB / RB exchange. It’s a formation that is very difficult to align to. It will allow you outnumber and outflank the defense to the unbalanced side. In youth football most defenses won’t shift at all, or they will over-shift. If defenses over-shift, you can take advantage of that and go weak side.

Implementing the Wildcat Offense

To successfully implement the Wildcat offense in youth football, follow these steps:

Teach Fundamentals: Begin by teaching your players the fundamentals of running, blocking, and receiving the direct snap. Make sure your centers are practicing snaps before, during, and even after practice! These skills are the building blocks of the Wildcat offense. Don’t forget about working proper line splits and stances. It’s all about repetition.

Master the Snap: The direct snap is the cornerstone of the Wildcat. Ensure your center and Wildcat quarterback practice this exchange until it becomes second nature. The only thing that will slow down this offense is if you have bad snaps. Be sure to have three kids that can play center.

Jet Motion Timing: The jet motion timing is the aspect that will most likely take the longest to get fluent. However, once you figure out the motion timing and rep it, you’ll be good. The jet motion timing will have to be adjust based on your teams age, alignment, and player speed. For us, when the QB looks at the S, that’s when he beings his motion. Again, motion timing does vary and it something that needs to be figured out with your team. For us, he’s at about 10 yards from the TE. This motion is full speed!

Practice and Repetition: Consistent practice is key to mastering the Wildcat offense. Snaps and plays should be practice every practice.

By simplifying the game and promoting versatility, this offensive scheme can be a winning choice for youth teams. Coaches who implement the Wildcat effectively can help their players not only succeed on the field but also develop a deeper love and understanding of the game of football. So, unleash the Wildcat and watch your young athletes thrive!

Wildcat Formation

Wildcat Offense Formation Playbook

The Wildcat Offense Formation features an unbalanced line to one side. The diagram above showcases the unbalanced formation set to the right side. The same plays below can be executed to the left, just flip the formation. For time purposes, I only drew these up to one side. We call this Wildcat Formation-“Heavy Right”. That tells the players that we are going unbalanced to the right.

It also tells our left tackle, that he is coming over to the right as well. This is what most people call a tackle over formation. I like going tackle-over because it gives you a 3-man surface of your biggest and best linemen- when usually a 3-man surface consists of a TE, T, and G. I personally like the X compressed and on the line of scrimmage. This gives you more blocking options, as well as play-action passing route possibilities. However, if you want you can also move the X and Z out wide to a true twins look. This will pull defenders out of the box and give you more options with quick screen plays- bubbles, tunnel, and now screens.

Wildcat Offense Plays

Core Wildcat Offense Plays:

  • Jet Sweep
  • Power
  • ISO
  • Counter
  • Trap
  • Lead Sweep
  • Power Pass
  • Seams
  • Smash

Wildcat Jet Sweep Play

wildcat jet sweep play

The Jet Sweep play is a great way to get your athletes the ball in space very quickly. Jet Sweep is great because you only have to block 2-3 defenders to get big yardage. On this play the offensive line all step play-side and reach block. The X compresses his split down and crack the defensive end. It’s important that the X doesn’t take any false steps forward. He needs to step right down the line of scrimmage and seal.

The Z will stalk block the CB and the H will lead block look to block the defender covering the X. The QB will catch the snap, hand to the S coming in full speed jet motion. The S will begin his motion when the QB looks at him. The jet motioning time does vary and has to be adjust to fit your team. You want the motion player at about the Y when the ball is snapped. A great snap is needed. If the snap is bad, it could ruin the entire play.

Wildcat Power vs. Odd Front

Wildcat Formation Power

The Power is a staple of the Wildcat Offense Formation. It’s your traditional Power concept, but without a handoff. This gives you an extra blocker at the point of attack. I drew this up with the traditional Power blocking scheme. We like to utilize double teams at the point of attack. The RT & LT will double the play-side DT, the RG and C will double the nose guard. The X and Z will stalk block the defender covering them.

The backside Y will step down and replace the wrapping LG. The LG will wrap and look to block the first linebacker inside the hole. The Q will catch the snap and get right behind the LG’s lead block. The H will kick-out the defensive end- his aiming point should be the inside hip of the defender he is kicking out. If you don’t want to pull the backside LG you can have him stay. Wildcat Offense Formation Playbook is build around the Jet Sweep and Power.

Power vs. Even Front

Power vs even front

If you are facing a 4-4 or 6-2 defense where the guards are covered or there are two A-gap defenders, the Center takes the backside A-gap defender and the RG will take the play-side A-gap defender. The H will kick-out the OLB who is the edge defender. We will still get a double team on that C-gap defender. However, you do need to make sure that M backer doesn’t blitz B-gap- if he does the G has to come off the double team and take him. A great Jet Sweep fake is needed!

ISO Play 

iso play out of the wildcat formation

The ISO play is very simple and a great play to add to this formation. You don’t have to worry about pullers and you can just keep it simple. Everyone basically just base blocks. The LT will base out the DE. Th Center will step play-side, and base the Nose guard. Both guards (if not covered) will work onto linebackers. The Middle Linebacker will be the defender that the H is isolating. The X and Z will stalk block the defender covering them.

The backside Y will step down and block the defender inside of him. If he doesn’t have a defender inside of him, he will block a defender over him. On ISO all of our interior linemen will follow- Inside-Over-Free blocking rules. QB will catch the snap, get right behind the H. The Jet motion player need to execute a good fake.


Counter Play

The Wildcat Counter play is great for when the defense begins to adjust to the unbalanced. The backside offensive line will all block down. The RT will replace the pulling RG. The LT will replace the down blocking RT. The RG will pull, kick-out the defensive end- aiming point is the inside hip of the E he is kicking out. Make sure he execute a tight pull path. The H will lead block through the hole- looking for the W (outside linebacker).

The S will come in full speed jet motion and carry out an excellent fake. The X will stalk block the defender covering him. The Z will stalk block the defender covering him. The QB will catch the snap, step and lean right, then explode to the left just as the H crosses his fake. The Q needs to get right behind the H and cut off of his lead block. This counter play is one of the best plays in this Wildcat Offense Formation Playbook.


trap wildcat formation

Trap is a great interior run play off of Jet Sweep action. It’s a great answer for when defensive tacklers are shooting up and penetrating. Most of the time they don’t even see the trap block coming. The rules for trap is that pulling guard will trap/kick-out the first defender outside of the play-side guard. The aiming point of the pulling guard is the near hip of the defender he is kicking out. The RT will right to the middle linebacker.

There needs to be a great Jet Sweep fake from the S. Make sure your QB doesn’t fake too hard to the S. The Q needs to take a half step right then explode down hill right behind the RG and cut inside of his kick-out block. The H will block like it’s Power and the X and Z will stalk block the defender covering them.

Lead Sweep 

lead sweep

The lead sweep is a great way to get an extra block out at the point of attack. A lot of times defenses won’t run with motion so that will give you an extra blocker at the point of attack. The offensive line will step play-side and look to cut off defenders pursuing to the ball carrier. You can also just have the offensive linemen block inside-over-free. We prefer to have the X crack because he has a great blocking angle on the DE. Just make sure the X cheats his split in and a takes a good down step, down the line- no false steps up-field. You can also jus have the X stalk block the defender in front of him and have the LT reach the DE.

Wildcat Formation Pass Plays

When you have a dominate rushing attack, your play-action passing game will be very explosive. These are our favorite play-action passing plays that pair well with this Wildcat Offense Formation Playbook.

Power Pass 

Wildcat formation play action pass play

You should always have a play-action pass play off of your best running plays. The Wildcat Offense Power will most likely be one of your best run plays. With that said, here’s a great play action pass play. It’s one of the best Wildcat Formation Pass play. Power pass will have the X run a corner route. He will stem his route to 12 yards then break. The Z will run a vertical slant / skinny post. The S coming in motion will execute a good jet sweep fake and continue out on a swing route. This concept is great because it’s any any coverage beater. It’s great again man to man and it’s also great against zone (you’re getting a high-low with the X and Z).

If you also have the QB do a half roll out (or a full roll out) and have the H lead block to the pass concept side. This will then be more so like Lead Sweep play-action pass- giving your Q a run-pass option. As drawn up, the H will secure backside and the offensive line will block inside-over-free blocking rules. You can also have them slide protect to the right. The Q’s progression is look to X, then to the Z, then to the S. QB will execute a 3-step drop.


vertical passing concept

This is a great blitz beater. The answer for the Wildcat Formation is usually to just send the house. This is a great way to hit a big play behind the blitzing linebacker. This is a fast hitting play that gives you several vertical options. We tell our QB to look to the Y first, then to the X. We also will tell our QB to look to the X first, then to Y if they are blitz the defender covering the X. All receivers will outside release and run vertical.

The pass blocking rules will be inside-over. The QB will catch the football, plant and throw to the Y. This is a catch and throw play. The QB doesn’t have a lot of protection to the left so he needs to be fast with his catch and throw.  It’s important that the Y and X get their head around very quickly, run 4 yards, get head around and expect the football to be thrown quickly. We will have the H just pass block.

Smash Passing Concept 

smash passing concept

The smash concept is great against man coverage. It’s also good against zone coverage because you get a nice high-low to the concept side. It’s pretty much like flood. You have a deep route, mid-route, and an underneath route. The QB’s read on this play will be the corner route from X, smash route from Z, swing route to the S. If the defense doesn’t run across with the motion player or match him (bump defender out) then he should be open.

The most challenging thing about this play is the pass protection. You only have a two player blocking surface. So if they shift over to the unbalanced side you probably can just base pass block. If they don’t shift and they have more than two backside defenders, then you can always slide protect opposite. Slide protection will have you entire line step to the left- the H will anchor the edge.

See Also: Wildcat Formation Power


The Wildcat Offense is great for youth football because it allows it eliminates the handoff exchange / mesh and it gives you an extra blocker at the point of attack. The wildcat offense is great for all ages of football. It will give you a great running game attack. When you have a great running game, your play-action passing attack will be very explosive. We hope you found this Wildcat Offense Formation Playbook useful!