Olympic lifts...I've been doing them since 1999 and it took me about 3 years to really get the technique down. For a lot of programs this is the primary means for "power" development. I used to believe that this was "the way"...but now I'm not so sure and here is why.
First of all, what is power? Siff discusses power as a type of strength. You can move a heavier load fast (strength-speed) or a lighter load ballistically (speed-strength). If you were to take a really good look at the force-velocity curve you'd see the drastic difference in the two, but you'd also see how intimately they are linked. This leads me to my point...power is really dependent on the velocity of the movement.
The attractive nature of the Olympic lifts is the triple extension of the hips, knees and ankles. Also by using Olympic lifts you are teaching someone to execute complex motor skills. Although these movement patterns don't directly transfer to on-the-field play, the ability of the nervous system to accelerate and decelerate external loads in various degrees of freedom is transferable. However, I think there is a better way to gain power than to bang your head up against a wall for a few years as you try to teach someone to perform a lift that they may never be able to execute, due to unaccommodating leverages.
Have we totally forgot about plyometrics? As long as you have good relative body strength, this is most definitely a superior means to develop power. What about changing the loads and velocity of the squat movement? Think about this...part two is on its way.