Athletes who fail are susceptible to negative affect (NA) and impaired future performance. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have identified prefrontal, anterior cingulate, and limbic activations following negative mood provocation. Little is known about the neural correlates of negative self-reference (SR), especially in athletes. Even less is known about the neural correlates of the effects of cognitive intervention (CI) in modifying negative SR and NA in this population. In an fMRI study, 13 athletes watched a video of their own career-threatening defeat in two controlled blocks. Between fMRI blocks, they received a 20-min CI designed to assist in event reappraisal and planning for future performance. Relative increases post-CI were seen in premotor (BA6) and sensorimotor (BA4/1) cortices. Correlated with mood ratings, relatively higher pre-CI levels were seen in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, the right dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (PFC; BA10), the right dorsolateral PFC (BA45), the anterior cingulate, and the right parahippocampus. CI may counteract the detrimental effects of NA and negative SR on premotor and motor activity.