I just saw this in the October Bicycling Magazine and thought I would share

Five ways to manage inflation when using a floor pump by Tori Bortman

1. Position valve at the 12 o'clock instead of 6 o'clock. You'll have better control while getting the pump head or inflator on and off
2. Lean the wheel against something, your leg, a wall. Using both hands to engage the entire stroke of the pump is twice as effective.
3. Don't assume that the washer on the valve of the a new tube needs to be there - It's there to stabilize the stem, but if it's too tight it can ri the stem from the tube. Too loose and it'll rattle while you pedal. Ditch it when using a floor pump.
4. Don't push down on the tire when the valve recesses into the rim Instead, pinch the sidewalls together above the valve stem to stabilize the stem and make attaching your pump easier.
5. We tend to yank off the pump head once we've reached the desired PSI. INSTEAD - Place both thumbs under the mouth of the pump head, fingernails facing the rim, and push it straight off the valve in one quick motion.

3 other quick tips
a. Some pump-head levers push down to clamp; others pull up. Know yours. If you fore it while in the clamped position you can quickly ruin seals
b. Keep seals fresh and decrease friction by wiping the plunger every so often with a thin layer of light oil
c. For a better fit between a new pump head and the stem, turn the mouth of the head counterclockwise one-quarter to on-half turn