Every top notch athlete needs to be explosive and there are many ways to achieve this quality. Being explosive simply means having the ability to exert as much force as possible in a given amount of time. Maximum strength, in and of itself, is a highly sought after capability in athletics, but possessing incredible strength and the ability to produce it rapidly are quite different. Merely being strong does not necessarily mean that one is also fast. In most sports, it is far more important to display force quickly rather than to just display as much force as possible. Athletes usually don't have enough time to develop maximal force in actual sporting movements, and success often depends on the rate at which force is developed.
A classic example is the shot put event in track and field. Shot putters tend to be large and very strong athletes, many of which having bench presses of over 400 pounds. The force required to move a barbell that heavy is far greater than is required to throw a 16 lb shot put, and takes considerably more time to produce. The time it takes to throw the shot is significantly less, and the implement would be out of the athletes hands long before the force required to bench press 400 pounds would be achieved. The most critical aspect is how much force can be developed during the short amount of time that the shot is in the athletes hand. This does not mean that the development of maximal force cant aid in throwing the shot, but it will be limited. The rate of force development is the most important quality in training for explosive sports. But remember, power is simply an expression of ones strength. Without strength, there is no power. Basic strength training should be utilized first to build the necessary structural integrity and stability of an athlete. There may not be such a thing as excessive strength, but there comes a time when training for more strength is not as important as more speed, increased rate of force development (RFD), MORE POWER!
Athletes and coaches have been experimenting with many different approaches to training this quality. These methods have often included weightlifting, which has much support in both research and practice. However, these lifts are far from the only methods available for developing explosiveness and, depending on the circumstances, other methods can prove to be much more effective. These circumstances include, but are not limited to, amount of time the athlete has to devote to developing enough skill to perform the movements effectively, the coaches ability to teach, the athletes lack of strength, posture, mobility or flexibility to attain proper positioning and mechanics to effectively train the lifts, and available space and equipment. If an athlete has reached a higher level of performance in their respective sport without meeting all of the specific physical requirements to perform a properly executed snatch or clean and jerk, chances are that taking the time and effort to learn these movements from a beginner level will not improve their sport performance that much more than any other type of explosive training.