Honestly, go out to a T&T night and just makes some passes. Start off granny shifting and shift a little quicker with each pass. Most likely what's happening is you're trying too hard. I don't jerk and slam the shifter when I race. My elbow stays pretty much still near the e-brake and I just wrist it. Nice smooth shifts. I hold a little pressure against the shifter so that when I press the clutch I have a little momentum to the next gear.
It's kinda hitting the ball in golf. If you try to kill the ball with your swing, you're not going to land where you want to. A nice smooth but quick swing is what's necessary. The same for shifting.
Russia... is... awesome!