even on short pitches, here is what helps me to smooth out my swing:
From about 40 feet away from impact net, I hit from a "plush" driving mat using a one iron. I take a slightly open stance, and open the face up just a little. Turn away from the ball and concentrate on coming back through square to the target line. Only a short swing as you would on a short pitch. The idea is to get the ball air borne and hit it straight. After a few tries I am able to accomplish this and hit the back wall of the cage about 6 feet high. I can manage to even work the ball a little from left to right, and right to left and pick out areas on the target. The swing is a gentle sweeper but with just a bit of coming down and through. If you do not have a one iron, just use the lowest lofted club you have i.e. 3 or 4 iron. Anyhow, it works for "me". Nothing new here, but I think it helps with tempo.