Don’t worry, im also just learning how to play on a stick. I’ve been playing ST and 3s for nearly 2 years (which is short compared to most others here @ srk) and until now i had been using a pad exclusively. A while ago i considered getting the SoulCaliber4 sticks when they came out but by the time i put the money aside the SF4 sticks were announced so i just decided to wait.
Long story short, im much much worse with my stick than i was with a pad… For now. I honestly believe that you will eventually realize you can only do so much with a pad and that Street Fighter is and always has been made for the layout of a stick. I began to get to a point in Third Strike where i started getting pretty good with a pad and was able to hold my own on GGPO and hdremix for a while, but i lacked the ability to pull off things like kara-throws; and other techniques that require far more dexterity then my thumb could provide.
It does take time to learn with a stick, and i get frustrated (and downright pissed sometimes) when i lose to people online because of missing an easy input or accidentally jumping or blocking low when i should have blocked right just because im not used to playing on a stick (especially one with a square gate). It can be very hard sometimes, and you will get totally destroyed by people who may not even know what they are doing half the time. HOWEVER… If you put in the time and the effort and take it very slow you will learn to play on a stick and you will pass all the limits of pad users.
I’ll use this as an analogy since i’m a music student…:
If i was a pianist, and i spent years and years studying music theory and applying that to my piano playing i would undoubtedly become great. Not just great at playing someone else song, but great in a sense that you have the technique to be able to play a difficult piece, but also the theory to be able to understand the intricacies of the piece. – However, suddenly, i might decided to learn a new instrument, like guitar or cello or trumpet (etc, doesn’t really matter)… I would still know all the music theory, as it is universally applied to all western instruments in the same way. (i.e.: a major scale is the same structurally and in terms of intervals regardless of the instrument). – But now, even though i may know exactly what i have to do, i will be lacking the technique to pull it off on a guitar with anywhere near the same degree of skill as i could on a piano. So in order to bring my technique up to the same level as my understanding of theory, i would need to practice and not give up. It would be frustrating to learn a new instrument, but switching back to my original instrument wouldn’t be any help at all when it comes to learning the new one.
This exact same concept is applied to this situation. My Street Fighter theory is fine. I have a pretty good idea what i have to do to win and some of the time i have a very good idea of what my opponent is going to do. If he comes in and tries to do a meaty normal to you, your brain might know that you need to pull off a reversal, but your hands might lack the technique to do so. – Its a very difficult and frustrating thing when your ability to understand the theory and strategy of the game is so far above your ability to consistently execute it. I’m suffering from that right now too and i’ve been very temped to give up and go back to my comfort zone…
But in the end of the day, i know that i want to learn a stick. I don’t know if it will automatically make me a better player in general, i might run into the same limits i did with a pad. But, i want to try and become the best player i can be. So if you are motivated to improve then do what i do:
Stick your controllers in a drawer, continue to practice (and lose) everyday and dont give up. If you lose over and over, dont focus on that, focus on the fact that you have just as much potential to win the next one as any other human. I get angry, and just plain old pissed off when i lose sometimes but that doesnt make me any better (its a bad habit that i have to get rid of if i want to improve)… The only thing that will ever stop you from getting better is if you give up or lose the ability to focus on the next fight.