Rodney Zimmerman - Conditioned Minds Founder
When I Was Young, FEAR Ruled My Life
At an early age and as an only child, I was the child who always stood out. Not because of my personality, but because I was always the tallest one in the room. This caused high anxiety and panic attacks for me regularly as I felt like all eyes were on me all of the time. It became hard for me to function in group settings, so I would close myself off in fear of failure. Not understanding how to use God's gift with purpose, I stayed hidden from the public in fear while moving from state to state 13 times in 16 years. Fearful of letting others understand my weakness, I continued to hide and not place value on myself or my purpose. My identity became lost until I was introduced to basketball in Carlisle, Pennsylvania at age 12. Taught by two legendary basketball players, Billy Owens and Jeff Lebo (North Carolina, I would soon be taught how to turn my fear into perseverance.
As I Got Older, PERSEVERANCE Influenced My Life
You will never be a High School top 50 player. Upon graduating from Air Academy High School, Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs as a High School All-American in Basketball, I went on to attend the celebrated and storied University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) on a full athletic basketball scholarship. It was there that I played collegiate basketball. As a Freshman, I saw absolutely no playing time. Wanting to transfer, some of the Pro players including Magic Johnson and Pooh Richardson mentored me, building my confidence everyday by placing me on their teams against some of the toughest college and NBA players. It was through this opportunity that I learned perseverance and would adjust my attitude towards a winners mentality versus a winning and losing mentality.
Now with more playing time on the UCLA Bruins and coming off of a good Junior Year, it was expected that I would start my Senior Year. The first game of the season, one play would take that dream away. After diving into the stands for a lose ball, I ruptured the L4-L5 vertebrae in my back. I was told that my season was over and most likely playing again. But nothing would hold me back from setting my goals higher in order to have to stretch myself even more. Not only would this injury push me past fear, it would drive my perseverance in everything else I would do.
As I Stand Here Today, PURPOSE Gives Me Life
Shortly after retiring from the game of basketball, I shifted my focus and energy back on being a staunch advocate for our Nation’s youth. I would take my collective experiences, skill sets, and vision, to develop programs and curriculum's for Conditioned Minds, Inc.—an innovative and cutting-edge, character development organization focused on attitude (also known as behavior modeling), aptitude (centered around focus skills), and leadership (the altitude expected for each participant to achieve). My curriculum's continue to provide active assessing, data management systems, and strategic goal setting for schools and their students.