One of the things that I don't see enough people doing is watching their line during the cast. They have no concept of what's going on with the line and rarely form tight loops or make very effective casts to fish that are further out than they typically can reach, and they don't really have a feel for the line loading the rod. I think that actually looking at the back cast, at least from time to time and whenever you change patterns to one that is much more/less wind resistant to the one you've been fishing (unsuccessfully :hehe: ) for the last two-hours, or whenever the wind changes direction and/or strength significantly, can really help maximize casting efficiency.
I'm guilty of overpowering my forward cast from time to time, evident when I relax and unload the line to the same distance that I previously attained by trying to launch it to the moon.
As an aside, I seem to have fewer problems with my cast when I'm casting side-armed; I've always been that way. Casting directly overhead, or even a few degrees off, just isn't as effective for me. I'm not sure if it's a more natural motion for me than overhead casting, it just feels better and casts farther.