have a spacing-oriented matchup-specific gameplan. dont just be doing stuff for no reason.
watch videos, and think about why players do the things they do (especially why they stand at a certain range and why they move). you should be able to spend a good half hour or more watching a single high-level match and trying to figure stuff out. ideally you want to watch players better than you but not so much better than you that most of the stuff they do isn’t relevant for your level of play/goes over your head. unfortunately it’s hard to find footage of lower-level players who still have some idea what they’re trying to do. maybe spectate + record some people on ggpo if you can? try the ffa ranbats on youtube, lots of kens there and while theyre way above your level theyre at least not godlike japanese players.
when you lose, think about why you lost
read the footsies handbook
this is really nonsense and needlessly discouraging to new players. obviously experience is important, but playing for 10 years doesn’t automatically make you good. put thought into your play both before, during and after the match and you’ll level up much faster. after a few thousand games he should be winning more than he is.