Some specifics on our cars;
Do not use force, do not try and force the car into gear if it doesn't want to go. The stick should slide easily and smoothly, so don't gorrilla-shift, shift gently.
You also have a 1st-to-4th skip-shift feature when you are going slow, so at times the car won't want to go into 2nd gear, so don't try and force it. Before I got my BAMA tune (which removed the skip-shift feature) I went into 3rd instead of 4th or 2nd. Be smooth, because using too much force will damage certain parts of the shifting mechanism.
Smooth and easy with the shifting. Clutching is a "feel" thing, you need to "feel" the engagement point, and then feather the clutch and throttle. I use very little clutch when shifting during normal driving, which saves my clutch.