Hey bigjim, I'm nobody special, despite what Dan says
. I do concentrate on the creation of a good loop with beginners. It doesn't have to be tight just good and I emphasis right from the start that there is no need for much force to create it. I would rather they used too little force and I had to get then to increase it slightly rather than too much. I do know where you are coming from though, I have used the expression 'let the rod do the work' often enough in an effort to get them to back off the macho stuff.
The grip is important to get right for the individual and some grips do restrict wrist flex more than others.
I find beginners tend to stare vacantly into space. I get them to focus on the loop and start to develop some hand/eye co-ordination.