Okay. I've been here before, in many respects.
Over the years I've improved slowly and painfully, then plateaued, wanted to quit, and forced myself through it. I broke through those walls and became better, even if it was only a tiny margin at a time.
I want to believe that I can still improve, and that I can finally break down this one barrier that's been eating me alive for so long, which is my technical inconsistency.
I can't seem to communicate to people just HOW BAD this problem is. I don't really get frustrated when I lose, I get frustrated when I play poorly. Particularly when I make lots of stupid technical errors that I shouldn't be making after playing for 6 years.
Things like trying to wavedash, and failing, then attempting to fast fall to avoid eating the aerial that I'm now in range of, and double jumping with my joystick. Or trying to waveland onto the stage, but just standing up; then when I try to wavedash back onto the edge so I can try again--and see if my controller doesn't need resetting or something--then I roll by mistake. Then I decide "whatever," and try to short hop and get the edge, only to full jump.
Somebody said that I make lots of bad decisions, and it's hard to explain to people that your decisions aren't really your own when your hands don't cooperate. I'm constantly at odds with my own body to actually communicate my desires to the game. Some games more than half of my attemped inputs come out as errors.
This is not an exaggeration. WD d-smash becomes WD f-smash because of a c-stick flub, followed by an attempted roll that turns into a spot dodge or jump because I spaz on the joystick. My next JC'ed grab is a full jumped f-air to which I then miss the fast fall (and subsequent L-cancel). Upon landing, I airdodge horizontally, failing to wavedash again. My next short hop n-air is a dash attack because I miss my jump button. And so on.
Again, not exaggerations; these are specific examples taken from recent smashfests and friendlies I've played. And when I tell people that I'm frustrated because these mistakes are getting me raped, they say things like "everybody has bad games." I am trying to explain that this goes beyond most people's definition of a bad game, and it happens with a consistency that people think I'm embellishing.
This would not be as big of an issue if I had some safe baseline to fall back on, some technical elements that I NEVER mess up so I can play safe while I calm down... except I don't. I cannot handle the controller without some risk of missing buttons or slamming the joystick in some random direction. Most people find themselves overreaching their tech-skill sometimes and saying "okay okay we'll tone it down." I cannot tone it down to an error-free level.
Sometimes this is clearly tied to my mental state; when I'm frustrated or agitated I often play worse, and when I'm calm and focused I typically play better. Durr, obvious I know, but yeah. However, even when I'm practicing solo in a relatively calm state I will still make these silly mistakes. When I'm nervous, in high-pressure tourney situations... well, most of you have seen what happens.
I have accepted that I don't really have a talent for this game beyond my obsessive nature. But this is at an extreme that I don't know how to cope with anymore; the amount of practice I invest does not seem to correlate at ALL to my technical proficiency, and I'm starting to lose hope. I come up with new systems and ideas to try and rectify it, but nothing's working. My past month-plus of dedicated practice, of going back to basics and hammering them in with constant repetition, has yielded absolutely nothing. I still screw up these fundamentals at a rate far beyond what is acceptable for any player trying to legitimately call themselves good at this game.
The worst part is that I can't just give up and call it quits because there's something inside me, a small petulant voice made of spite and ambition and idealism, that refuses to let me. I'm not going to keep playing if I honestly believe I can't get any better, and apart from this voice, that's what I'm coming to believe the more and more I practice.
tl;dr: bah. If somebody has any advice on how to fix this nonsense, please send it to me.