Firstly I feel it is necessary to define the meaning of affect. Affect is simply the observable expression of feeling and/or emotion in various situations. It is however general and fundamental wheres emotions are more speicfic. This can often involve facial expressions, hand gestures, voice tones and other emotional signs. Affective (emotional/feeling) reactions are fairly simple and often reveal preferences about states athletes value more than others. When people change to a state which they value more then a positive affect is achieved.
One strategy used by athletes to management mood is thought control which has a considerable overlap with self-talk. Zinsser et al. (1998) suggested that self-talk is one strategy available to people to alter their affect. Van Raalte et al (1994) observed tennis players using self-talk externally and found that although positive self-talk was not related to winning, negative self talk was associated with losing. This paper also suggested that in some cases negative self-talk was motivating for athletes. Those athletes that use negative self-talk often try harder to avoid faliure. I am not promoting the use of negative self-talk here. I am just noting that some ahtletes under certain situations may find it useful. Overall the research findings suggest that negative self-talk has a negative effect on performance.
Self-talk has various motivational functions for athletes. Self-talk should include task-specific statements (technique related), mood words (describing charecteristics of the task), and positive self-talk to increase encouragement and effort, relieve boredom and combat fatigue. Individuals use a variety of strategies to change their mood, this can often involved going for a walk, keeping busy or listening to music. Thayer et al. (1994) found that the most frequently use strategies for changing a bad mood were talking to or being with someone, controlling thoughts (thinking positively), being alone, resting or sleeping, carrying out chores, exercise and listening to music, with listening to music being the most popular.