The Manchester United striker was one of three England players to fail from the spot as Italy won the Euro 2020 final at Wembley.
Van der Vaart said on Dutch TV: "They're young and I don't think it's that sad.
"You can just take a normal run-up, can't you? It's all a little interesting. If you already know you have to go left, you might as well stand there, right? That's good, then. He has a good kick... well."
Fellow analyst Marco van Basten was less critical of the Manchester United forward, stating:"He does everything right but he shoots against the post."
Former Dutch international and pundit Rene van der Gijp also criticised Rashford as he said: "Those three misses, man. Rashford will take them at Manchester United.
"Would he decide to take such a run-up as he walks towards it? Or would he have that in his head? He almost comes to a stop two or three times during his run-up.
"Have you ever seen him take a penalty like that? It goes wrong, and then Sancho does it again. I think that's crazy."
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