What you are describing sounds to me as if you are not releasing your foot from the gas until after the clutch is depressed.
Not to sound condescending, the shift process looks as follows:
1. Release gas
2. Depress clutch
3. change gears
4. Release clutch
5. Engage gas
These are sequential steps. No portion of these should be done in unison unless you have a desire to put in a new clutch and/or transmission. Note that it is entirely possible that you may need to push the gas during step 3 if you shift too slowly as the revs may fall to quickly, but this should only be performed between steps 2 and 4, not during. In case it isn't clear, pushing the gas pedal during steps 2 and 4 is "slipping the clutch" and will shorten its life.
So, with all that said, if your revs aren't falling fast enough, then odds are good you aren't releasing the gas before depressing the clutch and in the process you are damaging your pressure plate. Unless you are lightning quick, which isn't likely for a new manual driver, you should not have this problem (I've been driving stick forever and I still can't shift quickly enough to have this issue).
The synchros are there to match the speed of the input (engine) and output shafts - if shifting quickly causes a clunk you may already need to replace them.
I do understand how to shift (that process you noted) but to be honest there has been some times where I have noticed that as I put the clutch in, I didnt let off the throttle fast enough, and this slips the clutch from what I understand and if you say this hurts the pressure plate then that would explain why my pressure plate is damaged. There was one instance where I didnt let the clutch hook up before giving throttle again, and the revs rose without moving the car anywhere. This is slipping the clutch, correct? It happened once or twice. At the very least, I may not be the best working a clutch but I definitely do know when I am doing damage so in both instances where I did that, I quickly pushed the clutch in and went to Neutral and then rev-matched back into a gear. I think that slipped the clutch and wore the pressure plate. I have not done this for a very long time, both times I did it were some of the first times I was getting on the gas and revving it out (which is why it took so long for me to feel comfortable enough to redline my car again)
With that being said, there have been times where I have had the clutch in too long (while shfiting something happened so I brake and leave clutch in, etc..) but I do understand how important rev-matching is. I think you may be right that I am not letting off the gas quick enough but I also have another theory..
lets say in 2nd gear at 20mph you are @ 2600 revs.
first gear will take me up to lets say (all these numbers will be totally incorrect - I am just discussing theory) 20mph at 3500 revs
i go to shift to second really fast, but by the time it comes to let the clutch back out - i am only at 2800 revs and i get a "buck" if i let it out
so what i do to correct this, is hold the clutch in another moment, let it fall to 2600 revs (revs matched) and then let the clutch out. this way, it is a smooth shift.
that is what i am talking about. there are often times where i even make sure i let off the throttle early before pushing the clutch in that it doesnt seem the revs fall fast enough on their own.
I hope this is an example, because 1.5 seconds to shift is about 1.25 seconds longer than it should take you...
Yes, I can shift rather quickly - I just didnt want to say .25 second shift and have someone go "no way anyone can shift that fast" ...so i just used a number. I really have no idea how fast I shift but I can get that gear knob moving pretty fast...
That should work fine. The 1-2 shift is notchy on our cars, and this is NOT my first clutch. I find that I either have to be slow (and when cold I actually pause in the neutral gate for a split second), or do it quickly AND firm. This is not like a Toyota (no offense) but there are some pretty beefy gears and synchros as noted above to handle the power. So firm and quick works well for me. Kind of like showing it who is boss.
Try the older style of double clutch downshifting. 3-2. That means blipping the throttle and going to neutral, then blipping again and slipping it into second. If you are still getting grinding, there is something wrong. The double clutch downshifting should take (almost)all the load off the synchros, depending on how well you do it. Doing it right, you won't even feel the gearchange.
Bucking is different then grinding; if the car is "bucking", it is not synchros.
Just that moment pause in the neutral gate is how I correct it. I will try the double-clutch downshift into second sometime. When I downshift though I normally heel-toe it/just single clutch it (throttle out, clutch in, shift gear, throttle blip, clutch out, throttle). heel toe is obviously for slowing down while downshifting whereas single clutch (though heel toe and single clutch are the same i use the term to differentiate conditions in which they are used) I use for just cruising when I want to get going a little faster I throw it in a lower gear and get on it
Ok Jerry, I've been driving stick for a long time, know what double-clutching is, and I'm still confused by your sentence "Try the older style of double clutch downshifting. 3-2. That means blipping the throttle and going to neutral, then blipping again and slipping it into second." so I can imagine the new guys are as well.
i am confused about this as well. the only benefit i could possibly see is if it took a significant amount of time for the revs to climb (ie by keeping revs up you dont spend as much time revving it to match it - you just tap the throttle, tap the throttle - and you are at your desired rev range instead of doing the clutch, getting into N by which point your revs are at idle and THEN having to really rev it to your desired rev speed) but that doesnt make sense since our Beasts rev pretty damn quick
Thank you all for your advice so far, this has been very helpful to me (and hopefully OP lol). Dont think I am a terrible driver... these mistakes I am discussing here are some of the only ones I really have made. I do get the jist of manual driving, and I understand the importance of rev-matching, I just dont understand what to do in absolutely every scenario that is presented to me.
I have a question not related to me for you experts out there. My buddy drives a GTI and often times he will put his car in N before a turn, then clutch in - set gear to 2, wait until after the turn, then rev-match and let the clutch out. is this damaging his car?
what else can he do (he also has a notchy second, and third gear and doesnt like to downshift into it)